A Sign on the Road
by John Sibley Williams
John Sibley Williams

John has an MA in Writing and resides in Portland, OR, where he frequently performs his poetry and studies Book Publishing at Portland State University. He is presently compiling manuscripts composed from the last two years of traveling and living abroad. Some of his over seventy previous or upcoming publications include: The Evansville Review, Flint Hills Review, Open Letters, Cadillac Cicatrix, Juked, The Journal, Hawaii Review, Amarillo Bay, Barnwood International Poetry, Concho River Review, Paradigm, Red Wheelbarrow, Aries, Other Rooms, The Alembic, Phantasmagoria, Clapboard House, River Oak Review, Glass, Southern Ocean Review, Miranda, Language and Culture, and Raving Dove.

We've grown taller than our parents,
taller still than the shadows
our dreams cast
across the upturned soil,
shoveled to surface, inside out,
and guilty as the plowshare.
The sun in its endurance is a step.
Time a weather-bowed door frame.
Death in its tiresome lisp
is a cripple groveling at our storefronts.
Soon I will need a lantern
to decipher figures in the morning
and when it hisses out
by too much song and love
an ocean of darkness
to quiet my nights' thoughts.
The abundance of this place.
Be it more than our renderings,
charcoal more than its rubbings,
this Dead End sign a transition
from pavement to forested path.
Let me sever myself from the instruments
behind my song and let speech
drive me further into silence,
down into the surrounding furrows
where sunlight must raise its voice to be heard,
where the questions still unanswered
that we leave behind in sleep
are somehow before us again
when we wake.

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