Out Along Rt. 154

Out where the streams etch away from Devil’s Head,
out of the bear’s coarse fur, shot in the back over in the bushes
in hours before dawn when we were afraid of the wounded,
afraid of this shape pulled down from the stars,
when we were neighbors on the road to Harmony,
up late every night, dragging the battery back to charge
so the TV wouldn’t go out, carrying our laughter in metal tubs,
in broken backed chairs from Isaac’s down the road,
cow barn full of cast-offs from long ago comers and goers,
the ones buried in hay fields from winters that beat and beat
cold fists against white drifts, tied tight to copper kettles
of clothes washed and dried, to babies crying in wooden cribs,
to burdocks caught in sheep wool, knotted and quick,
from raspberry thickets, witch grass, water-run ditches,
to logs twitched and cut, fires banked, days stacked
as tight as cords of wood, layered, as thick as grain,
borne with the lightness of twenty-somethings we came,
settled, our lives new stars throwing sparks in all directions.

 

Judy Kaber’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Eclectica, Crab Creek Review, Off the Coast, and The Comstock Review. Contest credits include the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest, the Larry Kramer Memorial Chapbook Contest, and, most recently, second place in the 2016 Muriel Craft Bailey Poetry Contest. She lives in Maine.