Thursday, March 09, 2006

North Superior

I can't drive anymore.

I sit instead
on a rock at the edge
of a stony continent's
living liquid heart
looking past spring ice
shattered on the shoreline
to endless gray water
and the unearthly light
of an endless gray
Lawren Harris sky,
the gnarled trees
he left to the rest
of the Group of Seven
held at bay on the other side
of the narrow gray highway
wound round the rocky cusps
of the north shore.

I geared down
out of overdrive
a half-hour back and
the gray Volvo sits
except for soft metallic
pops, pings, cracks and creaks
on the pullout behind me
its road heat cooling
in the icy March breeze
that blows in from the south
across Lake Superior
freezing and cleansing me.

I've made this journey
crosscountry more times
than I can remember
and since the snow squall
just past Sault Ste Marie
I've seen no-one on the road
and it's a long gray haul
before Thunder Bay tonight
and Winnipeg tomorrow
and Calgary the day after
and I hate the thought
of the coming hours
of lonely mile-eating
yet in spite of all that
this particular bleak beauty
draws me back in fascination
claws its way inside me
and I gladly pay the price
again and again to be here
to watch that heart beat
until mine beats in time
however briefly.


Anonymous said...

Coyote, I think I've sat in exactly the same spot! That run does seem endless, doesn't it?....but as you've so aptly put, also beautiful. I didn't have the Volvo, though, but a blue Dodge Ram, with a big, dumb, tongue-lolling dog in the back.

coyote said...

Nonny, I think you probably have. And yes, some days 700-odd miles is as close to endless as makes no difference. But what's this slur against the intelligence of tongue-lolling dogs? >:p