On I-66

by Kimberly L. Becker 

At Manassas the highway stained with blood 

from where you hit the deer or seepage from 
the Civil War (you didn’t hit the deer 
but might have or perhaps you hit the person 
whose bicycle—front wheel and severed frame 
was one of three incongruous symbols 
seen that day as you drove towards Roanoke, 
the others being a group of three white horses 

and a stone bridge to nowhere now--now here?) 

And in your highway reach of mind you held 
sadness swaddled like an infant, stillborn, 
and said goodbye to every inch of it, 
examined it the way they say elephants 
do their dead, exploring all the contours 
in a ritual of grief, saying God be 
with you or in Cherokee or German 
until we meet again, knowing that you wouldn’t 

“On I-66,” was first published in The Dividings, by Kimberly L. Becker © 2014 Wordtech Communications LLC, Cincinnati, Ohio. Reprinted with permission. 

Kimberly L. Becker is author of Words Facing East; The Dividings (WordTech Editions), and Flight (forthcoming, MadHat Press). Her poems appear widely in journals and anthologies, including Indigenous Message on Water; Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence; and Tending the Fire: Native Voices and Portraits (University of New Mexico Press). She has received grants from MD, NJ, and NC and held residencies at Hambidge, Weymouth, and Wildacres. Kimberly has read at venues such as The National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, DC), Split This Rock, and Wordfest. She has served as a mentor for PEN America's Prison Writing Program and AWP's Writer to Writer Program. www.kimberlylbecker.com

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