Poetry Daily: http://www.poems.com/

Problems with the Dictionary


Shouldn't the distance between impossible
and improbable be widened? Might miracle

deserve its own appendix: the ease with which night
becomes winter? There must be a word for it,

a term unique and apropos to star-pocked sky
and village roads blanketed by snow,

a good-naturedóbut stone drunkóschoolteacher
leaving a warm bar. It is improbable she will drive.

She does. North of town, wind uncovers ice-sheets.
A drift swarms ditch to ditch and the street

becomes impassible (see also impossible). She cannot
u-turn and begins walking home. She forgets

her headlights and roadside crops go miraculous:
snowed-in corn pastures awash in shadows

from her halogen bulbs. Another driver
would not see her. None come. The night is nothing more

than boot-prints in fresh powder, a wobbly path
tracking to back-patio where she frees the latch

and lets herself in. Her high-beams will burn
to sunrise. Her frozen steps will melt beyond definition.


Luke Johnson

Southwest Review

Volume 96, Number 4


To view this poem online, visit the Poetry Daily archive at http://www.poems.com/archive.php
View a large-print version of this poem