I drive west along the black granite bed of Cold River as it sweeps down the mountain. My best friend drives the same road east, the lies his wife told the judge trailing us...
I drive west along the black granite bed
of Cold River as it sweeps down the mountain.
My best friend drives the same road east,
the lies his wife told the judge trailing us
like the smell that sticks to your clothes after
anatomy lab. Yet the sky is flawless blue,
an infinite ceiling pilots call “severe clear,”
and I can see contrails above the peaks
where terrorists turned the plane toward New York
as easily as my friend’s wife took their children
under her wing and flew them into her September.
I’m headed home to my wife of forty years,
a woman who has found a way to forgive
my crimes, and I’m hoping the judge could hear
the private vocabulary of deceit and betrayal
cloaked in the crumpled logic of money.
Now this empty road sinks through switchbacks,
distant fields far below plowed chestnut brown,
down through shadow, down to the last bend
before the waterfall, a pair of Canada geese
sifting for food in the only patch of sunlight,
heads bent, paddling hard against the current.
Dr Berlin is Senior Affiliate in Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. E-mail: Richard.Berlin@gmail.com. His most recent collection of poetry, PRACTICE, is published by Brick Road Poetry Press.