Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 6 . . .

Long Drive to Portland

The highway blinks between sheets
of rain and sleet, drops that bounce
from paint pealing back along the hood,
drops that smack the windshield
like fireflies in headlight glare.
Almost there turns to not-quite-there
turns to why-do-I-want-to-be-there
in the first place, bearing witness
to the slow softening of breath,
slowing rise and fall of his chest.

Interstate 5 grows in rain, stretches
to challenge my speedometer. 75
feels like 7 and I honk
for no reason except to prepare
myself for the similar beep
of hospital machines, as if a shriek
could call back the dead

instead of alerting us to the futility
of trying to make it in time.

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Larina Warnock

Larina Warnock works for a nonprofit organization in Corvallis, Oregon where she lives with her husband and four children. In her spare time, she edits the online journal, The Externalist, volunteers for a variety of community and literary organizations, and reads and writes literature in all its various forms. She is currently compiling a collection of her poetry and continues to work on the novel she began six years ago. She is virtually unpublished. She blames her inability to write a decent cover letter for this, but secretly wonders if her unwillingness to submit her work more than once a year is the true cause.

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© 2007 Larina Warnock