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Driving to Juniata

October 19, 2011

by Katherine E. Young

for David Hutto

Up there’s the interstate, peeping through trees.
Down here among hollows, satellite dishes,
a man on his deck guzzles beer, wishes
he were driving that highway. His fancy speeds
past the graveyard of riding mowers, the three-
foot ceramic gnome squatting on the lawn
beside a cabin whose mailbox reads “Yablonski” —
speed’s his algorithm for life, for freedom.
I’m not sure where America lives, but I know
in my bones she’s down here, among red-lacquered
barns, weed-choked byways, plank bridges.
She bleeds through the landfills, the tiered ridges
of doublewides, the hand-lettered placards
with directions to Jesus. Be patient. Go slow.

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Katherine E. Young’s poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Iowa Review, The Massachusetts Review, Shenandoah, Poetry Daily, and many others. She is the author of two chapbooks of poetry, Van Gogh in Moscow (Pudding House Press, 2008) and Gentling the Bones (Finishing Line Press, 2007). She teaches English at the University of Maryland.

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  1. Janet McCann
    January 26, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Very nice–strong images, good feel to this.

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