Monday Morning

by Christopher Raley


I wanted to leave when Monday morning

dawned like a white sheet whipped high and held tight

to a slow billowing fall.


I wanted to put my mind to road

while building, pavement, and grass

were shining clean after storm.


I wanted to follow the highway north

dwindle with the stores, count numbered days

like the orchards, and cut close the bend where

two lanes call the race across hardpan plain

with no obstructed view to mountain walls

that funnel to the narrow climb through

blue-backed peaks heavy and white.


I wanted to leave.  But I stayed.

The sky turned fitful, moody, and gray.

I wondered, in dull glances out of

single pane windows: even with just one

tank of gas, could I have cleared

the other side of the pass?

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