Through a Country

by Joel Stein


You, on the one hand, see a land
Green and rolling
With chalky marble
And stretches of yellowed sandstone
Patched here and there into the hills,
Coming up for air after eons of sleep.

While I on the other hand say
Here collisions occurred
A hundred million moons ago
With valleys heavy and damp
And sea islands becoming rock above the clouds.

But now all of this Comes to bear upon Exit 49, a place
Of rest,
Of a chosen view,
The geometric fields left half fallow, half
In hope of an early spring,
A pause on our way home.

The time continues
One stop past this moment.
Clairvoyant for a mortal hour
We finish what is in our cup
Then climb back into our debate
As to where the best place is
To eat, to die, or
Start anew.

The land moves down to the sea
And the sea relents
It is getting ready
To begin again.

Originally published in This Land, Vol. 4 Issue 17. Sept. 1, 2013.