Four poems by Walter Bargen


Roadhouse

Out the car window

trees move quickly past.

Clouds stand still.

Parking lot empty to the fence,

to the road, to the horizon.

Wind-whipped grass blades,

naked dandelion stalks

compete for the cracks in concrete.

Windows stretch from corner

to corner and you see through

the nailed up boards

where the dust line-dances.

Sun spins across the concrete

shredding hems of heat

before do-si-doing to no good end.

Past the farm implement company

surrounded by beetle-shaped chaises,

their metallic bodies never able

to crawl beyond these plains.

In front of the Killpack Trucking Company,

turn left, turn right, turn around,

turn in any direction necessary for away.

At Sixty-Six

It’s a typical Seattle day: overcast, cold, raining,

the streets reflecting a hard shimmer,

laced with the red and green of changing streetlights.