By: Marne Wilson

You took me driving there once,
eagerly pointing out prairie dog towns
and one-room schoolhouses.
Your mother had already told me
this was your favorite stretch of road out of many,
and I believed it as your face brightened
at sights you must have seen countless times before.

When you flicked an apple core casually
out the open window onto the pavement,
you seemed not litterbug but man on his own property
with dominion over all he surveyed.

Perhaps I appeared disinterested or detached,
but in truth I was so awed
to be sitting in your passenger seat
that I could concentrate on nothing else,
letting the scenery wash over me
and focusing on the sound of your voice
and the light in your eyes.

An even earlier memory comes to mind—
me in 7th grade, the only year in all of school
when I didn’t even pretend to have a boyfriend.
There I am in Miss Tillema’s study hall,
scribbling in my magenta notebook
that I know there is a boy out there made just for me.

But since I have no image of him to focus on,
instead my thoughts are full of scenes
from U.S. Highway 85.

Marne Wilson lives in Parkersburg, West Virginia.  Her poems have most recently appeared in Blue Fifth ReviewPicaroon Poetry, and Hobart.  She is the author of a chapbook, The Bovine Daycare Center (Finishing Line Press, 2015).  Visit her website at