Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A CAPPELLA, by KAREN SWENSON



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A CAPPELLA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Five days of driving with no voices
Last Line: Earth to the contour of its eloquence.
Subject(s): Driving & Drivers; Solitude; Travel; Loneliness; Journeys; Trips


Five days of driving with no voices
but gas jockeys and motel clerks
as the radio's accent shifts
from Charleston to Albuquerque

until there is only one voice
in the full Arizona sun of August
where the land is a rupture of raw knuckles
of red abstract shapes turned by the wind's voice.

Like a mother training a child, the wind
has spoken, has said things over and over
and the rock, like the child, has taken
shape under that imperative voice.

I pull off into silence,
into red spindles of rock,
into the company of a lizard,
darting his shoelace shadow across the road

and a vulture surfing the pitch of that voice
that speaks as I would speak
as the potter's open hands hold
earth to the contour of its eloquence.





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