Stephen Dunn


Beyond Hammonton - Poem by Stephen Dunn

Night is longing, longing, longing,
beyond all endurance.
—Henry Miller

The back roads I've traveled late
at night, alone, a little drunk,
wishing I were someone
on whom nothing is lost,

are the roads by day I take
to the car wash in Hammonton
or to Blue Anchor's
lawnmower repair shop
when the self-propel mechanism goes.

Fascinating how the lamplight
that's beckoned
from solitary windows
gives way to white shutters
and occasionally a woman
in her yard, bending over
something conspicuously in bloom.

So much then is duty, duty, duty,
and so much
with the sun visor tilted
and destination known
can be endured.

But at night . . . no, even at night
so much can be endured.

I've known only one man
who left the road,
followed an intriguing light
to its source.
He told me
that he knocked many times
before it became clear to him
he must break down the door.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, January 5, 2018



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