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.
Southwest Review Volume 96, Number 4
Volume 96, Number 4
Copyright © 2011 by Luke Johnson
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission