Freeway

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There are things I do not remember doing.
I also remember not consulting my planner.
You might think it’s okay to ask the snow

but it isn’t a map. I put my (minimal) trust
in an approximate calendar drawn by hand.
At some point we’ll stop trusting even hands

since they are not electronic. But how to fish
then; electricity is only for a mass kill or big
mistake. Like the old man who kept his radio

in a huge bag of ice, in the bed of his pickup,
and it was winter year round, but just for us.
Everything about my zodiac was incorrect,

right down to the animal. Some people lived
in the campground all year, standing behind
trees during the inspection, sending their kids

to school with bar soap and canned beans.
How warm can a stick pile get you? I do not
remember how to make a fire out of wasted

time. A landscape never begs forgiveness
but you might if you lived here. I can’t recall
which happened first: the lights going out, or

the lights going out forever, and it was not
a metaphor because even the stars snuffed
out their neighbors and then drove far away.

Photo by: mark.a.m.

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About Author

Mary Biddinger’s most recent poetry collection is O Holy Insurgency (Black Lawrence Press, 2013). She is also co-editor of The Monkey and the Wrench: Essays into Contemporary Poetics (U Akron Press, 2011). Her poems have recently appeared in Crazyhorse, Guernica, Gulf Coast, Pleiades, and Sou’wester, among others. She teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Akron, where she edits the Akron Series in Poetry and Barn Owl Review.

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