Friday, December 19, 2014

Poem: Driving into Our New Lives

Maria Mazziotti Gillan's poem, "Driving into Our New Lives", appeared today on The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor. The program is featured on many public radio stations and is available online and as a podcast. You can hear Keillor read the poem and talk about some literary events of December 19th.

The poem is from Maria's collection  All That Lies Between Us (Guernica Editions, 2007) and is also in What We Pass On: Collected Poems: 1980-2009

Driving into Our New Lives

Years ago, driving across the mountains
in West Virginia, both of us are so young
we don’t know anything. We are twenty-eight
years old, our children sleeping in the back seat.
With your fresh Ph.D. in your suitcase, we head out
toward Kansas City. We’ve never been anywhere.
We decide to go the long way around
instead of driving due west.

Years ago, driving across mountains; your
hand resting on my knee, the radio playing the folk
music we love, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, or you
singing songs to keep the children entertained.
How could we know what is to come?

We are young. We think we’ll be healthy
and strong forever. We are certain we are invincible
because we love each other, because our children
are smart and beautiful, because we are heading

to a new place, because the stars
in the coal-black West Virginia sky are so thick,
they could be chunks of ice.
How could we know what is to come?

Maria's Official Site is at  Her latest publication is the poetry and art collection, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets.