Today's poem is by Matthew Thorburn

Driving Out to Innisfree

                —for Hilda

Naturally we zipped right by.
Had to backtrack along that
low wall of mismatched rock.
Drizzly fog. Ben Bulben only in
my imagination. Our rented hatchback
skittery on the one paved lane.
Now where was it he dreamt
of laying down his head to dream?
Pretty sure our last turn
was a wrong one and there
it was: a muddy hump in a shallow
lake. Where would he stick
the one-room shack? Keep
the bees? The bean rows would be
short and crooked and then
the words shook free and I saw it
for what it was: a thickety clump
of trees out there. Less place
than idea, a stepping stone from idea
to ideal. That desire to be away
from everything. No sign,
even now. God knows, no crowd.
I stood a bit, hood up. Hitched up
my shorts. But who'd go Thoreau
and set up shop there? It still works best
at a distance. Sometimes what we want
is to keep wanting. So—
shaggy trees? Soggy grass? This dot
of green in sight but out of reach
across brown water puckered
with rain? Check, check, check.
And silvery morning and cricket-song
keep you in the clear. Get me back
behind the wheel. Hang out in
the in-between till peace snaps into place
like a period at the end of the line.

Copyright © 2007 Matthew Thorburn All rights reserved
from Barn Owl Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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