Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A SENSE OF DIRECTION, by KAREN SWENSON



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A SENSE OF DIRECTION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It was moonless the night I drove my son
Last Line: Am shivering in its draft.
Subject(s): Fathers & Daughters; Maps; Mothers & Sons


It was moonless the night I drove my son
to the Fargo airport
after my father's burial.
Coming back I lost myself -
not so much in the streets,
which weave together neatly
as a tic-tac-toe box,
but on the roads of an internal map
I lost my bearings
as I wandered between
airport and graveyard.
Those two male lives which bordered mine,
like railroad tracks constricting it at times,
now follow their own compass.
I drive alone,
all direction lost to the dark
in which I cannot find my father's voice,
although my son's holds my ear,
a fading diesel call.
The wind comes in my window like
the breath of silence where my father spoke.
It is as if the opening of the earth for him
has left some door ajar
and I,
in this vast room of fields,
am shivering in its draft.





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