Simon Joseph Ortiz (1941-)
1You could drive blind
2for those two seconds
3and they would be forever.
4I think that as a diesel truck
5passes us eight miles east of Mission.
6Churning through the storm, heedless
7of the hill sliding away.
8There isn't much use to curse but I do.
9Words fly away, tumbling invisibly
10toward the unseen point where
11the prairie and sky meet.
12The road is like that in those seconds,
13nothing but the blind white side
15 You're there somewhere,
16a tiny struggling cell.
17You just might be significant
18but you might not be anything.
19Forever is a space of split time
20from which to recover after the mass passes.
21My curse flies out there somewhere,
22and then I send my prayer into the wake
23of the diesel truck headed for Sioux Falls
24one hundred and eighty miles through the storm.
5] from Mission, South Dakota, Sioux Falls is about 257 miles east.
Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services,
University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Ortiz, Simon J. After and Before the Lightning. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1994: 24-25.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2004
Recent editing: 1:2004/6/30
Other poems by Simon Joseph Ortiz