News & Views » Columns

Art Bar

comment

How many of us, when passing through some small town, have felt that it seemed familiar though we've never been there before. And of course it seems familiar because much of the course of life is pretty much the same wherever we go, right down to the up-and-down fortunes of the football team and the unanswered love letters. Here's a poem by Mark Vinz.

Driving Through

This could be the town you're from,

marked only by what it's near.

The gas station man speaks of weather

and the high school football team

just as you knew he would —

kind to strangers, happy to live here.

Tell yourself it doesn't matter now,

you're only driving through.

Past the sagging, empty porches

locked up tight to travelers' stares,

toward the great dark of the fields,

your headlights startle a flock of

old love letters — still undelivered,

enroute for years.

 

Reprinted from Red River Blues, published by College of the Mainland, Texas City, Texas, 1977, by permission of the author. Copyright 1977 by Mark Vinz, whose most recent book is Long Distance, Midwestern Writers Publishing House, 2005. This weekly column is supported by the Poetry Foundation, the Library of Congress and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.

Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.