The Day [Poetry]

This is a poem by Laura Madeline Wiseman.

 

It climbed and climbed as a mountain

that rose to a knob of rough green hills,

and that it kept moving up, if slow,

 

was what let wheels turn through the heat

and the next drop, then the next climb

without much water or food to spare.

 

It didn’t promise a view or send a traveler

shying from crosswinds or vehicular drafts,

if for a time the fog erased what might be

 

out there, meaning it would have to be

best-guess and ponder the everywhere trash

that refused to be hidden, a sort of stance

 

against the long work days in the mines,

the collapsed industry, and the meth

that shortened the nights. As if it intended

 

to be the unstoppable challenge

to keep going, never a slump, but grit,

ash, and metal well after the Breaks,

 

the storms in Lookout that obliterated

its better light, and the dogs that might

give chase, but more often, just guarded.


Laura Madeline Wiseman’s book Velocipede, published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press, is a 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award Finalist. Her book Leaves of Absence: An Illustrated Guide to Common Garden Affection with artist Sally Deskins published by Red Dashboard, is an Honor Book for the 2017 Nebraska Book Award.

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