Poetry Appearing in Poetry In Motion® Portland

A Simple Song for Highway 99E

Lisa Steinman

Driving past taco stands and Bill's Big Burgers,
old cars with rattles and squeaks fill the air like crickets.
Children are raised under the wings of retired
airplanes turned Texaco stations,
their eyes fixed on other worlds. Grounded here,
we who can call all the traffic lights in our town by name,
who know streets simple as counting from one to ten backwards,
have a new measure. One by one
we move to the capitols where we sit and dream
of the towns that threw us in on ourselves. Taking flight,
we play these old holes in the wall like flutes.

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"A Simple Song for Highway 99E" from Ordinary Songs,
26 Books. Copyright © 1996 by Lisa Steinman. Reprinted with permission of the author.


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