Out in the Sticks
Strangers give a friendly wave even as they cut the curve
with their pickups and nudge me toward the soft road shoulder.
Beyond the guardrail, poplars shed dead skin onto discarded tires
and beer bottles lining the creek, now shallow and sluggish from lack of rain.
A rusted bus, gutted, surrenders to weeds in an unkempt field—
eyesore for the rambling farmhouse claiming a hillside above the floodplain.
At dusk chimneys begin belching smoke but I linger on the bridge.
My friend says I’ll take you to the city. We can ride the train, see a show.
How can she know that in an hour it will grow so quiet we will hear
a small herd of deer shuffle through the woods and then fold their legs,
settling upon leaves while a full moon rises above the ridge,
face at first half-hidden by trees: shadow goddess returning to the grove.
M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes poetry while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in San Pedro River Review, SOFTBLOW, Calamus Journal, and numerous other print and online journals. She can be reached at writermstone.wordpress.com.