January Night Music At Diamond J’s 
For all the coast-to-coast truckers

Ten inches fresh snow,
now imitating thin stars, feathered castles,
falling through parking lot lights
mountainside off I-80, Pennsylvania.
Engine idles smooth. Heater purrs.
Miles driven last 15 hours
blurred into entering rig’s headlights
strafing flat white field. Sparkle of exaggerated wild oat’s stem.

Blood needs to move,
bring me out of daze

Force mind off road,
dream there is a yellow lady’s slipper
in silent field beyond
artificial light’s length;
a longhaired beauty there
who will let me pin it on her.

Oh, the perfume of wild flowers,
slender stalks
clumped in her tight fist.

Small reward for the battle of being.

from Paying The Price. Copyright © James Humphrey Trust.


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