Dark Night

by Kathy Weisfeld

Careening across the left hand lane,
my blue Vega and I
spin, land on the grassy median
facing back toward Toronto.
No 2 a.m. traffic
on this Connecticut country highway.
Only able to wait, I lie
on the grass, look up
to the night sky.

In the Merchant Marine, my father
learned the constellations,
from the dark night
stars reflected in the black waves.
He plotted his course on long voyages
for the convoys carrying cargo. Always
in constant danger, any flash of light
could be a submarine or mine.
He saw the stars sparkle,
a constant compass for his
route to safety and home.

My trip was fraught from the start,
traveling to visit my boyfriend in another school.
Our routes had diverged, the distance for me
more than miles. I plotted my plan, hoping
to steer clear of hurt, telling him
I wanted more people in my path.
I didn’t recognize the danger
until his hand hit my face. I fled.

Left stranded,
in the dark night, waiting
for the flash of headlights,
I search the stars.

Kathy Weisfeld is the Chair of the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival in Burnsville, North Carolina. She also volunteers with Yancey Hospice and the Appalachian Therapeutic Riding Center. She was chosen to be mentored by North Carolina Poet Laureate, Joseph Bathanti, as part of the 2011 Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished
Poet Series. Her poems have been published in The Great Smokies Review and WNC Woman.

About Dark Night—I wrote this poem as an assignment in a class focused on how to use language and structure to bring movement to our poems. This form uses Theme A, Theme B, Theme A.