In Wisconsin

2

October 3, 2016 by The Citron Review

by Ellen Stone

 

Sunday afternoon, late
sun slanting down the highway
gassing up to drive, I make a U turn
from the station knowing I am wrong.
There are signs telling me but, wanting
a quick get away for the long road home.
When the police officer appears
at my car window, I mention my daughter’s
graduation on campus. My aging mother
in the front seat. I do not mention whiteness.
We sit in the road while vehicles swarm,
then bend around us, like a creek
when a branch blocks its flow, making a way.
Just a warning, he says.

Later, over a rise on the hot asphalt
toward Milwaukee, swirls of red lights
flash by the side of the expressway.
Four police cars hum there, and one lone
man, young, brown skinned, stands
hands above his head in a gesture akin
to prayer or a plea to the sky while his wrists
are shackled. We hurtle past, this image
imprinting already into a kind of archetype
that follows us, silently, past the city
around the lake, and across the fields
green with corn. Jesus, left there.
Us, driving by. Summer, just beginning
to swelter.

 

After teaching for over thirty years, Ellen Stone advises a high school poetry club and co-hosts a monthly poetry series in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her poems have appeared in Passages North, The Collagist, The Citron Review, The Museum of Americana, and Fifth Wednesday among other places. Ellen is the author of The Solid Living World (Michigan Writers’ Cooperative Press, 2013). Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart prize and Best of the Net.

 

2 thoughts on “In Wisconsin

  1. Wow, Ellen. What a beautifully sad poem.

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