Late Night

So a man drives around late at night

avoiding all the streets that lead home.

He knows lights are still on

that those who love him

are gathered round the table

talking, wondering what could have gone wrong.


They don’t understand why it takes him

so long to return form simple chores.

He doesn’t understand why

in spite of all the street signs,

in spite of all the maps scattered on the seat,

he would rather be lost.


Sometimes he even rolls down the windows

and lets maps fly;

he tosses out flashlights and matches

and says to himself,

          Let’s just see how fucked up things can get.


They know this is not the way things should be.

He knows this is not the way things should be.


But he hopes,

searching black streets alone

in the minutes closing on midnight

with gas running out,

he might find a second home

with those who know where he’s been.


From Feeding the Crow (Plain View Press)  and The Road Home (Dalton Publishing)

For my thoughts about writing this poem, follow this link.

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About lymangrant

Lyman Grant is a professor of creative writing and humanities at Austin Community College. He has work at ACC since 1978. He is the author or editor of two textbooks, two books relating to Texas literature, three volumes and a chapbook of poetry. Recently he traveled the United States for a year in a 34-foot RV 5th wheel trailer with his wife and two younger sons.