Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Miles and No Progress

by Catherine Zickgraf

Miles and Making No Progress

Years back, they tamed these Georgian woods.
Men sunk a path between the toes of deep rooted oaks.
But still hundreds of square miles remain untouched,
and the pine beds are cushioned with needles in layers of time.

The ledge on the left slopes down toward the stream.
Here our grandfathers once parted the wild ivy sea.
We can’t be seen together, so we drive
where no one but God is watching. 

You and I are swimming the asphalt.
Just a few generations have trickled by,
and I’ve already forgotten the old or the dead
who once threaded this road through the earth’s green bed. 

Forgotten, I say since I don’t learn from their mistakes
from this road they traveled before me.
This always blows up in your face, they learned.
It’s guaranteed to blow up in your face.

To make this road, tall trees were mowed down,
then stripped of leaves by a screaming saw.
But this road belongs through these miles of pines
because finding a way is what we do.

And the jade of the spruces paints the sky
and swallows us trying to disappear.
You drive, I ride, we’re trying to hide
as we flow around the Southern countryside.

We park on this road where no one is looking,
and you try to steady me down the hill. 
It’s cool though, it got this, I’m tougher than you think.
And besides all that: I know what I’m doing.

In my skirt, I ride your lap.
Your back on a tree—you’re a man like that.
And you take my feet off the ground . . .
but people would judge me if they found out.  

Vines grow over the path we made.
My sins are boring down like roots,
digging like fingers into the dirt.
And I’m chained here, ashamed of the hurt I’m causing.

Why am I controlled by this need to be filled?
I hide, betray, I lie every day.
But I need you to touch that place inside
that nobody else can even find.  

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