ALONG U.S. ROUTE 41
All in orange-gold the whole oak
stands utterly quiet and composed
in the sky’s blue transparency.
At night I place my hand
on the wrinkled, three-hundred-year-old bark.
The highway whines without stop,
but I stand calm, the moon wanders
in the leaves above me.
Hard, finally, to have to go inside the house
and be away, be so separate;
and now there must be
something sad in my body
before I pull the shade down
and go to bed, before I sleep and wake
all night, hearing only the highway
in its ceaseless utility.