If You Travel South
If you travel south sometime with bramble branches
and Highway 61 signs, with the swirl-tumble of
Kentucky coal miners' smoke break tar,
take the pieces of pine needle I've saved
and knotted together in clover's shape.
If you go when its too cold to breathe here,
flying as the seagulls and songbirds do alike,
check about me in newsprint scribbles, in
tongues talking around Christmas tablecloth
in high-plucked tone from sundown heavy
trees, if ever my name comes through the fog.
If you depart when streets are slick for skating,
when the icebox is scarcely worse than hands
beyond the window dash and stepping on
the sidewalks outside with your old cracking boots,
take a letter-page I'd shed a tear on
in your pack, its edges well-worn in time.
If you go some place where green warmths dance
amongst the strands and fluttered curls of her hair,
ask if she still thinks of my face at all, imagining
the road salt stains on my dress shoes and
snow collecting on coat collar edges.