The Drive Home

The Drive Home

A Poem by Katie

The Drive Home


As if “Upstate New York” weren’t north enough,

I take a trip to the true North Country,

where homemade signs sell homemade maple syrup,

and shopping options range from yarn to taxidermy;

where flowers sprout from cauldrons

and Mennonite choirs decorate village corners.


I take my time on the long ride home

and faulty reception invites me to mentally mark the driveways,

rare as they are, just in case something goes wrong.

I nod along to the half-high beats of my hipster music,

as if my life were a movie and this was a car shot,

a clip of me driving through off-key forests

with oblivious calm.


The scenes are somehow carefully selected

to juxtapose with my reality�"

Two little girls with aprons and bonnets

drifting down a sheep-covered hill

on a John Deere riding mower;

A man in black jeans trudging along the barren tree line

with a toolbox hoisted onto his shoulder,

marching toward nowhere in particular.


The screenshots click by in my peripheral, one after another,

until gradually, places begin to look familiar again,

and I know I am almost home.

I switch off my CDs and turn on a local radio station,

checking out of my make-believe movie

and back into the “real world.”


A green sign welcomes me to my hometown

and I smile in the throes of its oddities:

A tea kettle perched atop a lamppost by the pottery shop,

a green metal dinosaur posing in a backyard off Utica St.,

and bright lettered signs announcing the annual used book sale

to be held on the green, July 15th.


And just as I am about to turn onto my street,

I notice the license plate behind me reads “Ontario”

and a woman’s eyes stare out her window,

as if she is clicking through shot after shot,

piecing together the parts of a scene,

and nodding along to her own tender beat.

© 2011 Katie

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Added on July 17, 2011
Last Updated on July 17, 2011



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