The Road Between Here and There

Here I heard the snorting of hogs trying to re-enter the underearth.
Here I came into the curve too fast, on ice, and touched the brake pedal
and sailed into the pasture.
Here I stopped the car and snoozed while two small children crawled all
over me.
Here I reread Moby Dick, skipping big chunks, skimming others, in a
single day, while Maud and Fergus fished.
Here I abandoned the car because of a clunk in the motor and hitchhiked
(which in those days in Vermont meant walking the whole way with
a limp) all the way to a garage, where I passed the afternoon with ex-
loggers who had stopped by to oil the joints of their artificial limbs
and talk.
Here a barn burned down to the snow. ‘Friction’ one of the ex-loggers said.
‘Friction?’ ‘Yup, the mortgage, rubbin’ against the insurance policy.’
Here I went eighty but was in no fear of arrest, for I was blessed –
speeding, trying to get home to see my children before they slept.
Here I bought speckled brown eggs with bits of straw shitted to them.
Here I brought home in the back seat two piglets who rummaged inside
the burlap sack like pregnancy itself.
Here I heard again on the car radio Handel’s Concerto transcribed for
harp and lute, which Ines played to me the first time, making me
want to drive after it and here it forever.
Here I sat on a boulder by the winter-steaming river and put my head in
my hands and considered time – which is next to nothing, merely what
vanishes, and yet can make ones elbows nearly pierce ones thighs.
Here I forgot how to sing in the old way and listened to frogs at dusk.
Here the local fortune teller took my hand and said ‘What is still possible
is inspired work, faithfulness to a few, and a last love, which, being
last, will be like looking up and seeing the parachute opening up in
a shower of gold.’
Here is the chimney standing up by itself and falling down, which tells
you you approach the end of the road between here and there.
Here I arrive there.
Here I must turn around and go back and on the way back look carefully
to the left and to right.
For when the spaces along the road between here and there are all used
up, that’s it.

Galway Kinnell


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s