In the Back Seat on I-70 when God Comes to Me at 12
Who’s to say it isn’t so, fog rising
off the Susquehanna at dawn, misting
the mountains; or maybe it’s
mountain fog falling into the river
as sun notches the peaks of the Alleghenies
and climbs down through dense firs,
waking what nests in them and me—
earth’s silent rotation, singing
even now across the span
of valleys, dim tunnels, past
sheer cliffs and rockfall, down
into the hard plains of Ohio
toward rain, corn husks shaking
dry their hair in afternoon light.
I walk past field stubble, stalks
black and broken, corn cobs chewed
down to rust; in the swamp, dead
eucalyptus where cormorants hunch.
This wetland, so cold and forbidding
cradles what lives: frog hearts
slow in their silted sleeping, mud
turtles prone on a bog of leaves.
My body ages into mystery. I face
dread, a snake skin in the grass. Molting
has shed its muscled menace,
head-to-tail a fogged diamond
pattern, delicate as church light.
An empty leash, I drag it home.
Jane C. Miller’s poetry has appeared in Kestrel, Apple Valley Review and Summerset Review, among others. A two-time recipient of a DDOA fellowship, Miller is co-author of the poetry collection, Walking the Sunken Boards (Pond Road Press, 2019) and an editor of the online poetry journal, ൪uartet (www.quartetjournal.com).