Melissa Snider–On the Road from Bozeman
Useless wipers thump,
four hundred miles
to go, white-out, a dizzying blur
on our way home from the funeral.
We do not want to be here,
but keep driving because
if we stop
we may disappear.
Also, we promised to call home
at every rest stop.
The heat and music
are cranked. We talk
about where the edges
of the road might be.
We talk about my upcoming semester
abroad, in a place
where it never snows.
Mostly we don’t talk, we squint
into the storm-
try to make out any sign
of another car, of what’s
coming next, or the end
of the blizzard. Later,
we learn that the road was closed
after we got on it.
would have felt dishonest. Nature
calls. We pull to what we think
is the side of the road, and squat
in the protection of the front door, which is to say,
no protection at all. The wind blasts
and we laugh
like we have so often, until we’re gasping
for breath, and the impenetrable
white whips all around us,
our cocoon, our shroud, and the bitter cold
wind dries our tears
before they’ve even formed, and inside,
something cracks the way ice on a pond breaks
from below, while surface stays smooth.