Poetry - Issue 23 | November 2015

Two poems by Anne Babson

Pastor Annie's Directions for How to Get There

The praises go up. The blessings come down.
When you get to the dead end
Where they forgot to build a bridge,
Don’t shift into reverse. They’re right behind you, anyway.
Grab the stick,
Tap the water,
And watch, just watch.
Don’t worry about who’s back there.
They tailgated me down there, too,
But look at me waving to you
From the other shore!

The praises go up. The blessings come down.
At the cleft of the cliff on the Hudson
Hide yourself from incoming traffic.
Let Him pass, but get a glimpse
Of His tail lights. Your face
Will shine more than after a trip
To Elizabeth Arden.

The praises go up. The blessings come down.
At the Jericho Turnpike,
Turn right, then right, then right, then right.
Do this for a week. Fasten your seat belt.
On the last day, honk, lean your head out the window,
And shout over the rush of the cars.
The walls come down, I guarantee.

The praises go up. The blessings come down.
Out past Lindenhurst at the West Babylon rest stop,
When they offer you pork rinds, ask for vegetables instead. 
You won’t get a ticket that way. But then, when the sheriff sees
Your out-of-state plates in the parking lot,
When he points to the Big Boy on the roof
And bull horns, Bow down, or I’ll tow you,
Call me. That cul de sac they’ve got, the fiery furnace? 
I got impounded there once, too. But
Trust me. It goes around and around, and then
You end up back on the Montauk Highway again. 
Take a whiff of this car. Do you smell smoke?  Me neither.

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About the author

Anne’s work has travelled all over the world, but more recently to Barrow Street, Cider Press Review, Iota, Iowa Review and Poetry Salzburg, among others. Read her first full-length collection The White Trash Pantheon (Vox Press, 2015) and chapbook, Poems Under Surveillance (Finishing Line Press, 2013).

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