On the Road From Bozeman–Melissa Snider

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.

 

Anyway, sunshine

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.

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