The second half of my life will be black to the white rind of the old and fading moon. The second half of my life will be water over the cracked floor of these desert years. I will land on my feet this time, knowing at least two languages and who my friends are. I will dress for the occasion, and my hair shall be whatever color I please. Everyone will go on celebrating the old birthday, counting the years as usual, but I will count myself new from this inception, this imprint of my own desire. The second half of my life will be swift, past leaning fenceposts, a gravel shoulder, asphalt tickets, the beckon of open road. The second half of my life will be wide-eyed, fingers shifting through fine sands, arms loose at my sides, wandering feet. There will be new dreams every night, and the drapes will never be closed. I will toss my string of keys into a deep well and old letters into the grate. The second half of my life will be ice breaking up on the river, rain soaking the fields, a hand held out, a fire, and smoke going upward, always up.
From Straight Out of View by Joyce Sutphen. Copyright © 1995, 2001 by Joyce Sutphen. Used by permission of Holy Cow! Press. All rights reserved.
Joyce Sutphen is the author of Modern Love & Other Myths (Red Dragonfly Press, 2015), After Words (Red Dragonfly Press, 2013), and First Words (Red Dragonfly Press, 2010), among others. She teaches at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, and lives in Chaska, Minnesota.
Date Published: 1995-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/crossroads