Sarah Ann Winn

Turnpike Elegy


Down the white mountains, headlights flash lighting fog
on back roads, I dreamed as I drove

that I picked up my sister from a rest stop somewhere
in northern New Jersey, and she made me let her out

of the car when we got to Delaware. I had three hours
to ask her anything, to find the moon in the clouds

of her hair, to laugh as she denied smoking,
flicking embers out the window. She asked me

why I couldn’t keep my eyes on the road,
why I had to scan the fields for deer, the rocks for falls,

why I drove an hour out of my way to skirt the city,
what I had done with her Garfield comics, what

ever happened to her precious things, none of which I could name.
I only had the one question, and couldn’t voice it in the end,

smoke in my eyes, pollution in the air, and anyway, I was alone.


Sarah Ann Winn