Fall/Winter 2016

Jessica Isaacs


Okies travelling on
down the road or up,
it don't matter much, Daughter,
it don't matter, cause
any way you cut it, sooner
or later you'll hit Joplin
where the tornados ripped
our hearts out and
threw them away in the mud
like used up rags on the wayside,
his ball cap left hanging off a tree,
her arms left empty, and
it don't matter much, see, whether
you're going east or west, cause

either way you cut it,
you're bound to pass the river,
flooded now four years ago, where
the current ripped
our hearts out and
spirited them away in the silt
to be swallowed up by turtles,
to be picked apart by buzzards,
her doll left drowning in the current,
her daddy left searching
from the overpass, cursing his lungs
for breathing and hating his hands
for not holding on tight enough
when the waters kept on rising...

no, it don't matter much,
where you're headed;
east or west, Son,
they're all the same;
we're all tangled up and drowning
on this same gray stretch of road, and
it don't matter much
where you're headed, no,
it don't matter, Love, at all, cause
the rain's always hard, but
the drought's even harder, and
either way you cut it,
you can't outrun either...

this road runs through them all   


Jessica Isaacs, founder and co-editor of Dragon Poet Review, received the 2015 Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry for Deep August. Her poems appear in Oklahoma Today, Cybersoleil Literary Journal, All Roads Lead Home Poetry Blog, SugarMuleís Women Writing Nature, One Sentence Poems, Short Order Poems (September 2014), My Life with a Funeral Director, Scissortail Commemorative CD (2014), and Elegant Rage.




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