Red Road by Dwaine Rieves

Red Road


From asphalt to gravel, from
              Gravel to that barely—what
                        I am searching for I do not
                                          Know, but I keep driving—
                            This land once home, fifty
Years back my teacher and
Nature, my twang-mouthed
              Preacher—hills overgrown, red
                            Heaped mud in sun-hardened
                                          Ditches, sweet gum and bramble
                            Bowing wild before pines, my one
              Lane drying into otherness, one
I’ll twist leaving my rental’s front
              Axle impaled on a stump or
                            Windshield bashed head unto after
                                          By a pickup, that young
                            Driver having thundered up
              The crest, some faithful
Homebody having no idea
              His hard-changed hills might
                            Reclaim a wayward lover, decades
                                          Within fugitive gullies.
                            I’m sure this road has to
              Go somewhere, as worry should
But doesn’t when searching
              For the source of a search
                            Ends on other people’s
                                          Property, so I keep driving
                            For reasons that have
              Less to do with return
Than daring—my foot poised
              For the brake, my eyes an instant
                            When the difference between
                                          Start and finish arrives
                            Head-on, both guys
              So very sorry, from finding
To having been
              Found, fear splitting
                            Blood-heart cedar,
                                          The red road roaring.

Dwaine Rieves
Dwaine Rieves is a writer from Smithville, Mississippi. His book, When the Eye Forms, won the 2005 Tupelo Press Prize for Poetry. He can be reached at:

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