Michael Redhill

Night Driving

Dark villages, asleep for hours now, sweep by, candles flickering in windows.
I drive Main Street, Magellan under the moon, the gas station shut
until morning, the road silenced by snow. Trumansburg, Covert, Ovid.
Through silent towns, I'm a shooting star, the night lit up
through the windshield. In the washed-out skies of my childhood,
sometimes a vibrant star would urge itself over the rooftops, or we’d go
to the planetarium and gape at the universe in a bowl. But here there’s only
the scattered salt of the starblown night, thown for luck.
Passing into the fields, the cupolaed farmhouses
wheel by cloaked in faint light, their basements
reliquaries of war, bones and scuppered backhoes lying under corn.
Then, standing at a lookout over dark Cayuga, the long lake
seems a tear in the world.

Jan 2000, Jan 2009