Two Poems by Julie Brooks Barbour

Photo Credit: Paul Adolphsen

Two Poems

 

 

FROM THE BACK SEAT

 

I had to feel around to position myself.

I touched cold metal handles

 

and pulled at locks.  Sometimes moonlight

streamed in momentarily or my husband

 

clicked on a ceiling light to check the map.

I could suddenly see the outlines of objects—

 

a rearview mirror, knobs on the radio—

all out of reach. In the passenger seat

 

my sleeping daughter’s head rocked

against the window. Once clouds swallowed

 

the disc of moon or my husband

had his bearings again, the only lights left

 

were headlight beams shining on the road ahead.

Off to the side were other roads.

 

 

 

 

ON DISPLAY

 

Down the road a gas station and, outside,

a vending machine hanging empty.

 

If the racks inside are still unfilled, the light

still gleaming behind that glass, I’ll break in,

rip out the tiny compartments, shelve

 

my petite body. I’ll wear a sequined dress

and whiten my teeth, and the light

 

will illuminate my glittering eyeshadow,

the mica in my blush. I’ll be shipped

from place to place, a treasure, someone

 

to notice. Among these fields I notice

only the wind, the way it whips

around the house, flaking the paint job.

 

 

 

 

 

Julie Brooks Barbour is the author of Small Chimes (forthcoming from Aldrich Press in 2014) and a chapbook, Come To Me and Drink (Finishing Line Press, 2012). Her poems have appeared in Waccamaw, diode, Kestrel, storySouth, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, The Rumpus, Rose Red Review, Escape Into Life, and on Verse Daily. She teaches at Lake Superior State University where she is co-editor of the journal Border Crossing.

 

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