Where hills blaze in hunter green, coral and blue
ice, like the striped dress your lover wore
on a train ride one country summer, sun streaming
along the track. You stared out across the lake,
watching boats flaunt their sails puffed out in the wind.
It was never like that.
Hand warm in yours, hair sun-tinted golden
threads, skin soft and firm, jasmine scented, lovely
mouth waiting to be kissed. You bought her
lemonade from the club car, watched her laugh
and drink. You are going home, driving through night
on a highway lit by moon.
Along the plain, towns nestle, scattered beyond exits
marked by gas station signs and fast food.
Your neck aches, your hands stiff and slippery
on the wheel.
It was never, never like this, red barns and brindle cows.
A door opens to your country, you can smell
bread and every flower has a name.
Words rise and flood your ears, you remember
sticky candies you used to buy
for a nickel when you walked in a noisy mob to school,
colored liquid in bottles of wax, chocolate mints, ropes
of red licorice, odors of spring and freedom
and it was never like that.
You know you are going home if only you can find the way.
If you've any comments on
this poem, Steve Klepetar would
be pleased to hear from you.