BLACK CAT POEMS
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Highway to the Coast
Thick and green, the hills rise
on each other's shoulders.
High ridges disappear in fog
make me wish I was born of water.
At the divide, I taste the cool ocean air,
the way a deer finds a salt lick,
and roller coaster down a narrow road
that does not believe in a straight line.
crawl through barbed wire fences.
Small towns occur like a whim.
As if in a coma, they merely survive.
I tune in the only station
and listen to country western.
Static gradually drowns the singer out.
Rounding a corner, he pops to the surface
for another breath,
simply to sink back still singing.
Fir shadows lace the road.
Bracken cascades embankments.
At the next curve, a farmhouse is half finished--
boards weathered raw. Chickens roost in a gutted Chevy.
Scattered among these hills, families
rely on small private lumber mills,
the disability or unemployment check,
the killing of an out of season elk.
poems by Mark Thalman