Driving in Oklahoma

By Carter Revard b. 1931 Carter Revard
On humming rubber along this white concrete,
lighthearted between the gravities
of source and destination like a man
halfway to the moon
in this bubble of tuneless whistling
at seventy miles an hour from the windvents,
over prairie swells rising
and falling, over the quick offramp
that drops to its underpass and the truck
thundering beneath as I cross
with the country music twanging out my windows,
I'm grooving down this highway feeling
technology is freedom's other name when
—a meadowlark
comes sailing across my windshield
with breast shining yellow
and five notes pierce
the windroar like a flash
of nectar on mind,
gone as the country music swells up and drops
                                me wheeling down
                      my notch of cement-bottomed sky
                             between home and away
and wanting
to move again through country that a bird
has defined wholly with song,
and maybe next time see how
                         he flies so easy, when he sings.

Carter Revard, "Driving in Oklahoma" from How the Songs Come Down. Copyright © 2005 by Carter Revard.  Reprinted by permission of Salt Publishing.

Source: How the Songs Come Down (Salt Publishing, 2005)

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Poet Carter Revard b. 1931

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Activities, Jobs & Working, Travels & Journeys, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Arts & Sciences, Music, Social Commentaries, Town & Country Life

 Carter  Revard

Biography

Carter Revard grew up on the Osage Reservation in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. He is of Osage, Ponca, Irish, and Scotch-Irish heritage; in 1952 his grandmother gave him the Osage name Nompehwahteh (meaning “fear-inspiring”). Despite a difficult early life—he attended a one-room schoolhouse and worked odd jobs throughout his childhood—Revard eventually won a scholarship to the University of Tulsa through a radio quiz. He was one of the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Jobs & Working, Travels & Journeys, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Arts & Sciences, Music, Social Commentaries, Town & Country Life

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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