Consider this an elegy with silo and fever. 
Call it barn and gravel and gone. Grasses’ obeisance  

in the wake of a pick-up, sun searing the leaves 
green to gold in the season’s time-elapse. 

Where does it go, the Sunday angle of sunlight 
once only yours, wide and open as a window? 

Here’s what I remember: the flaking mural 
on the brick wall of neighborhood grocery, saying 

Food for the Revolution for twenty-five years. 
Stacked landscapes in my rearview, blank as a calendar 

until a bend in the road brought the Blue Ridge;
the pocked metronome of tennis balls outside 

while I harnessed what I had lost and missed 
in minor-key pentameter. So what, my mentor 

talked back to his tercets in draft after draft: 
so what so what so what. “This essay is accurate 

but never ignited,” the Derridean scrawled 
in red ink when I was writing about Bishop writing, 

I can scarcely wait for the day of my imprisonment. 
Her keen eye ever cast on the homely unheimlich. 

Call this a road story about the slow burn of foliage, 
about containment, what conspires against arrival. 

Astonish us, Diaghilev said to Cocteau, 
but all I ever wanted was to consider,

its roots in the auguries of our shifting stars.

Copyright © 2023 by Debra Allbery. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 11, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.