I was fortunate enough to be a part of a poetry reading in my American Literature class last Tuesday. It's very rare that inspiration and a warm-ness wash over you while sitting inside a classroom on a wonderful Spring day. But hearing some of Ms. Andrea Barton's poems did that for me. I just sometimes forget to stop and smell the roses I guess. Well, this is her poem "Postcards" I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
I have to find a different space. I think the way that I will hurt you back
is to go to every city that makes postcards of itself and send you one with the directive,
“Wish you were here.”
I won’t stay anywhere for very long—stop at a gas station for a postcard or two,
a state-shaped magnet, diet coke and cheese crackers.
Every familiarity will change in proportion to my distance,
will mark that I am opening my car door in the elsewhere of corn fields
and distressed billboards until I recognize nothing in the foreign faces.
I will drive with purpose. I will drive in a way that throws up dust
or pothole debris, the wet muck sopping against my undercarriage.
When I am tired of driving, I will tell my friends stories that have nothing to do with you:
of how I slept at a rest area just past the bridge between Memphis and Arkansas
or met a couple in Arlington who made soaps for a living.
I will tell them how the accents became thicker, more difficult to understand,
how I rose to the occasion in a chess match with a farmer named Temple.
I will pray every day for people on the interstate with somewhere to get to,
will love them for being strangers.
And I will tell friends later if they ask, that I am wonderful—that I have been every place—
that I have learned to interpret loss and how it is always the same:
an empty postcard of a solitary windmill that stutters on an unused field.