Honorarium

Amanda Powell (Button #8)

At times, by night, driving the freeway
up the long grade to the bridge marked Illahee Crossing,
how beautiful shines the traffic ahead!:
this gape-cordoned trunk of a Plymouth before me,
its bundles, boxes, chair-rungs, and vinyl luggage
fit to a quick-packed mosaic, and beyond that
the silver, quilt-metal back of a new Mack truck
that gleams, licked by spilled fires at a backward
glance from the tail-lights of each passing car;
that's as far forward as I can see, but look left
and a doubled chain of white lights streams North downhill,
while in the rearview another chain Southbound holds me
here, as I move, talking myself awake in all
this bright speed, with a check in my handbag.