The cars

By Kathleen Fraser b. 1937 Kathleen Fraser
Sprinting across the freeway just ahead of them having set his left foot down   
directly onto the pavement from the ledge of the cement divide and edging his
other leg forward deliberately—caught the way sports pages show an athlete with
muscles condensed in the effort of crossing through a particular space—and then
she sees the cars coming towards him giving off that early morning shine across
their hoods almost colorless but precipitous in the four-lane parallel rush of metal
and cannot tell if any driver straining into the distance further ahead has seen him
or possibly has caught that glint off the long black flashlight he appears to carry
with its up-beam turned on full and faintly visible due to the angle of early sun
falling over the midwestern plains fanning out in every direction away from the   
sudden view of the airport hub’s acclaimed architectural design.

She sees the brief alignment of his body methodically finding its way across the
freeway lanes blue baseball cap fit snugly over his head to just above the hairline
where now dusky skin of his neck breaks into the picture.  He’s made it halfway,
she thinks, but she can’t stop the cars rushing towards him even as he scans with
concentration the worn lanes for the thing he’s lost as if he’s walking through the
dark and shining his flashlight wherever the object might have landed, his right
knee   still lifting purposefully upward and forward.
                                                                                                      — for C.W.

Kathleen Fraser, “The cars” from Discrete Categories Forced Into Coupling, published by Apogee Press, Copyright 2004. Reprinted by permission of Apogee Press.

Source: Discrete Categories Forced into Coupling (Apogee Press, 2004)

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Poet Kathleen Fraser b. 1937

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Living, Disappointment & Failure, Relationships, Men & Women, Activities, Travels & Journeys

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

Biography

Kathleen Fraser is a poet and author who grew up in Oklahoma, Colorado, and California. She graduated from Occidental College (California) with a degree in English literature in 1959, and then worked in New York City for Mademoiselle magazine before pursuing her poetic studies. Fraser has been influenced by Black Mountain, New York School, and Objectivist poets, including Frank O’Hara, Barbara Guest, and George Oppen. She has . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure, Relationships, Men & Women, Activities, Travels & Journeys

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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