Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Kate Daniels: Driving

That was the year that summer lingered

and fall came on late.  I was still wearing

sleeveless clothes when the temperatures fell,

and the wind rose suddenly, and tore the leaves

from their branches in a matter of days.


By then, there was a long line of addicts

on the corner every morning – red-nosed

and shivering, sores all over, reminding me

of the roaming packs of starving dogs you see

in third world countries.  I shooed them away

when they begged for money…  All that autumn,


I was searching for my son. Why I never looked

among the junkies on the corner who, after all,

were other people’s sons, or why – god help me

I drove right through their tattered clots,

and kept my coins to myself, and controlled

my thoughts – I have no clue.  I just kept driving

though I had no sense of where I was going,

or what I’d do, or what I might find if I got there.


Copyright 2018 Kate Daniels. From In the Months of My Son’s Recovery by Kate Daniels. Forthcoming from LSU Press (2019).

Reprinted from Five Points vol. 18, #2 2017. Included in Vox Populi by permission of the author.

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