by Sarah Carleton

In the night, in the wind, I search the roadside
for white feathers glued to a leather mask,

but the weeds and burrs won’t give up their secrets
and my neck hurts from looking down.

Traffic shoves a gust—
a plastic bag fills with air and floats away

and for a minute I think it’s my chiffon scarf
that disappeared in 1982.

I have reached the highway of lost things.
I’m keeping a lookout for odd screws,

rosin, milkweed fluff, embroidery needles,
senile cats, sharks’ teeth and a straw hat

that blew off at the beach twenty years ago
and could have washed up, waterlogged,

to lie in limbo among iPods, sock mates,
habits, infatuations, flight phobia and muscle tone.

When my eyes adjust to the dark, I expect
to find it all here on the berm, stuck in the prickles.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 5.

sarah-carletonSarah Carleton writes poetry, edits fiction, plays the banjo and raises her son in Tampa, Florida. Her poems have appeared in many publications, including Houseboat, Avatar, Poetry Quarterly, Bijou, Off the Coast, Shark Reef, Wild Violet, The Binnacle, and Cider Press Review.

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