Driving from Alabama to Virginia, 1970
Driving at dawn down the interstate,
I’m drawn in a night wind past the eastern sky,
Past steel rails green as my instrument light, soft as fate—
And I smile to see sweet Venus sting the night.
Around me endless great trucks sputter, growl, and
Mutter catechisms—their drivers, doubtless, trying to
Out-face the dark, brave the tensile strength of
Blackness and keep, at length, the strait-paved way.
But I don’t give a damn about their middle-aged hunger
For the day. The world can’t get by without me, and I
Won’t accept a piddling, remorseful niche. Whenever it
May be, dark or light, I’m driving, ready to flip the switch.