Monday, July 30, 2012


In the smallest towns you learn to know the town cop’s
headlights at a distance, which driveways are a safe haven
to wait with the motor off, the lights hushed, the three
of you thrown across the floorboards giggling while his dark
Impala slides by. Along the River Road you toss empties
through the slider where they rattle in the truckbed with
the ruts and the sliding corners. On past Swamp Creek where
summers you swim and sun on the rocks, toward the Forest
Service access road for late spring camping with close friends
you will never see again. The Steel Bridge, the Wood Bridge,
always one car at a time. Nights late, later, latest near your
graduation when you stretch the time like a last meal. The
Pair-a-Dice bar where there is a beer at the right hour with
the right audience, the Mint where there never will be. The
shape of Mt. Baldy hovering over the river like a guardian,
the flatiron halfway down the flank where there can be no
snow if folks want tomatoes in the ground. You’ll come back
around to the state highway that becomes Railroad Avenue
for a 5 block speed trap, for an evening back and forth cruise
that never gets old. You’ll come back around again and again,
and again years later with your kids who peer morosely from
the car window but won’t see a single thing you once described.

About M.R. Smith:
M.R. Smith is a poet currently working in Boise. He grew up in Bozeman, Montana, played on the 1979 State Champion basketball team, and left for Missoula to study creative writing at UM. He will have work appearing soon in The Red River Review and Punchnel's

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