Friday, July 12, 2013

David Allan Evans: "Turning 70"

         remembering Okoboji, Iowa, 1957


click, click, click, click, click went the wheels
of our little roller coaster car taking us slowly,
irrevocably upward to the top of the carnival until,
click         click         click we slowed more, hesitated,
then, cresting out, began to fall, my guts whirling,
my primate grip strangling the safety bar,
my eyes locked shut on what we couldn’t help
being headed for, straight down

then, picking up speed, the inevitable letting go
because we had no other choice, against a force
huger than carnivals, planets, universes
so we all opened our eyes and reached as high
as we could for moons, for stars, then came
our avalanching screams…

That’s itexactly what I need to get back to:
that letting go (minus the giddy guts), with my eyes
fiercely wide open, each day seconding Prospero’s
“be cheerful, sir,” and Lao Tzu’s tree bending
in the wind, each day looking forward to enjoying
what’s left of the ride, the carnival, the life.

"Turning 70" by David Allan Evans, from A Harvest of Words: Contemporary South Dakota Poetry, edited by Patrick Hicks. © Center for Western Studies, 2010.

Photography credit: Unknown (originally color).


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