December 2013

Last Leg—Driving Texas to the Valley

Long, the state from top to bottom.
The map congests itself with veins
and the splotch of the bigger cities.

In downtown Dallas folks of color
wait at every bus stop. Sports cars
pass—long hair, blonde, shades, or

sleek gray hair, a tan, a quiet BMW.
Buildings mirrored to catch the souls
of those who come and go, reach up.

The freeway becomes highway.
A road straight south points ahead
with hardly a grass blade there

on the map. A tiny town down here.
The maniacal traffic is gone. Fields
and trees wave to us. The landscape

changes, the people turn brown,
descendants of those who crossed
the ice bridge, who settled South

and West and to where we go, to a state
of mind, a town within a town, a split,
and a niche for frail new roots.

—Shirley Rickett

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