A country song echoes through the warehouse,
cedar and summer dust.
The words unintelligible, but the tempo nostalgia,
melody in the minor key of longing.
At seventeen, I rode with a boy out Refinery Road to Avon,
past the slough, the railroad tracks
or the road through Franklin Canyon,
low-slung oaks tracing desire’s deliberate turns,
a September sky holding fall.
Now I sit in this red truck, waiting;
you in the dark loft
draw out the best pieces of Alaskan yellow,
and the slide of wood on wood sings too.
We stack the eight quarter-planks
on the rack in rhythm,
and climb in.
I’m old enough to have learned
how things can change in a beat.
In the truck you open the window
to the tune’s fading drift
and I slide close.
© Judy Bebelaar
published in Walking Across the Pacific