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
Ellen Stone teaches at Community High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her poems have appeared recently in Passages North, Lunch Ticket, and The Collagist, and are forthcoming in Fifth Wednesday, among other publications. Michigan Writers Cooperative Press published Ellen’s poetry chapbook, The Solid Living World.