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DRIVING (OR HIGHWAY 14)

by

Cassie Olivieri



D riving down this two lane road
Streaming sunshine
Diluted
Muted rays of day's last light
move along beside me
Shape shifters
Shadow stealers
Windows down
Music loud
Alone with miles of promise left to go
Promises of things to come
and things already done
Memories ride here with me
on this long stretch of Highway 14
A great expanse of worlds
like the cotton fields
that lie
Infintely
on either side

Red car
Red sky
I remember a saying I read in a book
Once
Long Ago
(yesterday)
" Red sky at night, sailor's delight."
(or something like that)
My delight

This road
This wind
Memphis skyline
behind me
All I see, all I feel
Hot asphalt
Rough road
The smell of grass that's just been cut
Sweet and strong
An incense that encompasses me
Embraces me
Welcomes me back
Reminds me of my high school days
Levi's and Friday night football
Lying in the sun for hours
the heat making waves appear on the sidewalk
While lazy clouds make
circus shapes in the cerulean sky
Sophomore heart fluttering
Flirting after fourth period
with a boy in Wranglers and worn-out work boots
A boy with eyes as emerald green
as the dress I wore to Senior prom

A two-seater plane
crosses in front of me
Flying low over the trees
The drone of the engine mixing
with the early evening serenade
of the crickets
and locusts
and the frogs in the low places
In the woods where the water
lies murky and still
Driving
Indigo ink stains the sepia sky
Twilight closing in from behind
Following me
Fireflies dance
in the darkest, shadowy places
Hundreds of twinkling lights
(fairie lights)

I've been away from this place
These feelings
for so long now
Breathing this air that
feeds my soul

The city, my new home
It has its allure
But the South
It's in my blood
I need this air
These sounds
I need the feel of driving 60 in a 45
on a deserted highway
with the wind off the Mississippi
blowing silky, soft strands of sun-kissed hair
across my face
getting in my eyes
The cool
clean
night air
caressing
Burnt sienna skin
From a summer of sunning in the front yard

Singing along to
"Brown-Eyed Girl"
and "Sweet Home Alabama"
The songs speaking to me
Driving me to an understanding of myself
Driving me home
Where I look out of my window
on the second floor
in the small town suburbs
and see the summer storm clouds
Gathering
The purple lightning
Thunder
Miracle symphony
Magical music
In my little corner of the world
Safe
Unseen

In the quiet of nowhere,
this place becomes Somewhere







ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cassie Olivieri is 23 years old, formerly of New York City. She is currently taking a hiatus from city life and is focusing on her writing in her hometown of Memphis, TN. She loves being outdoors, playing with her dogs, writing and reading, and keeping in touch with her numerous international pen pals.




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