by Robert Ferrier

Heading southeast to Little Dixie,
roads I could drive from muscle
memory, aromas of Sonics,
tarred cracks and bumps
familiar as facial wrinkles.

Near Seminole, the bridge out...
turn south, tinge of regret at leaving
the GPS at home, different shades
of pastures and cattle, road inexorably
straight, as if hell-bound for the Red
_______and Dallas.

No map, no problem. Okies don’t
get lost in their own state...right?
I remember my 5 o’clock in Hugo,
mini-reunion with a couple before
the reunion. No sweat. Just find
a good turn east, another north,
link back to Highway 9, catch
the turnpike, then south to home.

Yet now...every mile an enigma,
like the stare of the clerk
at a two-pump station, flung on
flat land under blank blue sky.
I feel astray, alien, like Cary Grant
in North by Northwest, running,
tie flapping, biplane closing fast,
machine guns winking, gouts
of dirt at my back.

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