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?