Ridge Highway

riding along at 60,
seven p.m.,
the rabbits are out tonight—
i can't see them
but i know their eyes blur into
the Christmas light on the farmhouses.

in the backseat my mother adores
the tinseled reds,
ever greens,
translucent blues—
the closest things to ocean water
she has ever seen.

a Chevy ad on the radio—
my father drives our Ford—
my mother is a voyeur
peering at the ranch houses
and licking her lips
over these whorish delights.

my father is silent
as we enter Lenawee;
my heart drops as the melting frost
dripping into the ditches
along the side
of the road.

the stars shine here:
i haven't seen them in months
as the bustle of civilization
clouds the sky more than any cumulonimbus
in the city i live in
when not on this road.

i can see the moon out my window,
but i could be the star
atop the red barn guiding the cattle
to warmth as the frost
crusts over the wilted grass
and sharpens it.

we hone in close to hour house:
my father says nothing,
my mother oos and ahs
at the lights—the angels atop of evergreens
blaring in her eyes, her teeth
chatter—the air is cold.

alone we drive, alone the rabbits
hop across the ditches,
over the grass to the barns
and over acres—
dodging the Yuletide bullets
handing from rain gutters.

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