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Tell me about jet rags.

Tell me about the vertical daggers

in the road all pointing north.

Tell me about Moon Pies & Cokes

you buy conveniently as you drive,

jokes men toss at you

through windows like soiled socks.

Say you are twenty:

you leave the house alone at dusk,

crank up the engine to sail sunset back

to your state now, Virginia, New York,

or Maryland--it makes all of the difference.

When you hit the road to Gretna

you change your mind:

you flip the switch,

cut cruise control, decide:

you´ll stay at the Greenwood,

Route 220, have some fried chicken,

some turnip greens and a cup or two of joe,

one to go so that you can slip into the night

& walk that deep hill to the place where the counties

split and the country roils and rambles

like a feverish dream.

That coffee will slosh

but that´s fine: all will be well,

all manner of thing shall be well

and you´ll wake earlier than the sun

and run down Route 606 as far as you can,

until you see a farmer pitching hay--

there will be new calves in the meadow,

corn in the crib.

You´ll know, somehow,

you´ll run that route

as long as it takes

to make the byways safe

for every mad dog, every hen.

More by Rosanne Coggeshall


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