Making headway on the turnpike of life

If I resist fussing with radio stations, I find long drives conducive to reflection and analysis. Last week I drove back to Michigan after visiting my mother in Maryland, and this excerpt from Carl Dennis’ “Last Interview” was something to chew on (along with my french fries and roasted almonds).






I left it at a rest stop on the Ohio Turnpike, on the brick pillar above the trashcan.




You can read the complete poem here.





  1. Sherry Crowson

    Yes, there was one moment that broke my life in half, into the before and after: the birth of my first son Michael. Not even marriage changed me the way having a child did, and still does. There is always the before, when you were you in relation to everyone else, even your husband. But after having a child you are never really solitary again, you are you and the child, and the children that come after, but you never quite realize it the way you do after your first born. There is no going back . . . and you know it, and accept it, and it does change you in essential ways, not only psychologically and even spiritually, but physically, so that when you die, even the examiner will be able to tell you gave birth. It’s a . . . life changing experience. I don’t know about enlightenment but I do know you will find out things about yourself and the world you never knew before. Perhaps that is a form of enlightenment. It’s the gulf of love you cross with that act, and the shore of family where you find your life.

    1. poemelf

      I remember that feeling so clearly during labor…the realization (or should I say profound understanding because it’s an obvious reality) that there’s only one way that labor is going to end and it’s going to be hard and everything is going to be different. I wanted to jump out the window and run away from myself.

      Like you, I felt this especially with the first one, but I also felt it strongly with each of the three that followed….that a human being was about to come into my life and change it completely.

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