Today's poem is by Erica Dawson

Rock Me, Mama

I-65 has stalled. The spokes
Of Old Crow's "Wagon Wheel" have spun
The road enough. The singer token
And hopes to God he'll see his one
True baby tonight. The saga, sign—
The fatal bus crash in the '8os—
I'm not far from the Buckeye line.
And there's a milk truck and Mercedes,
And Parks from "Barstow" wants his bottle,
His twenties pissed—and me. I've missed
Another rest stop and the coddle
Of my own bed. My driving wrist
Cramps tight.
                    Pulled over at the Stop
'N Go, I wrestle charring leaves
From the foglights. Sizzling wings, and, pop!:
A beetle's high watt death. In eaves
Of gravelike ant-hill dirt
I almost want to cross my chest.

I wander through the mart and "Hurt"
In stereo, trying my best
To make it look as if I don't
Look obvious.
                    I pretend I'm light.
I'm there in the People's blurb, YOU WON'T
Flash off a starlet's dress, a chink
In black sequins until I dash
Like ashes ("...to a burning..."), think,
What's with white boys and Johnny Cash?,
And afterimages. No. No
One sees essentially this see
Me-see-me-not, like lotuses grow,
Perhaps, in blue grass: jujube
Served hot with eggs, by noon forgotten?

Pretend I'm like the lotus: Mama-
And-baby soft and white as cotton;
I'm blooming everywhere to bomb a
Flat landscape, cover corn, and herd,
And house, each family dreaming me
With a lullaby of every word
On the CD spun since Tennessee.

Copyright © 2009 Erica Dawson All rights reserved
from Harvard Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission