By Michael Pettit
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Additional resources for Cardinal points: poems
Weeds poke up from the rocky ground below. I'd say no one lives here but its red flag is up to the mailman, its red flag flies with word of some wondrous event or no event at all, I'll never know. I should stop, I should open the black mailbox and read it all feed and light bills, the note to a sister in Michigan, the long letter to a grandson serving overseas read it slowly, there in my car, as if, bone-tired, I were now home, the blue mountain lifting me and my few good neighbors on the Star Route high into the drifting clouds, lifting me on clear nights up beyond all the distant little lights on earth.
How hard to hold to it single red vein of a ranch road running out straight across the mesa, blood we were bound to follow when what we wanted with all our hearts was to scatter everywhere, everywhere. Everywhere they drifted, sweeping from the trees down to the highway my headlights lit. Fireflies blinked in the distance and before my eyes, just before the windshield struck them and they died. Cold phosphorescent green, on the glass their bodies clung like buds bursting the clean line of a branch in spring.
Page 31 Woman Turning and Lifting Train. Plate 232, Animal Locomotion Let's put to rest any momentary confusion: no big locomotive here. To me. Sheer skin cannot hold us in. Page 32 Driving Lesson Beside him in the old Ford pickup that smelled of rope and grease and cattle feed, sat my sister and I, ten and eight, big now our grandfather would teach us that powerful secret, how to drive. Over the roar of the engine our hearts banged like never before and banged on furiously in the silence after we bucked and stalled the truck.