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Our First Time Driving Through Oklahoma

A poem

Published on:
October 23, 2019
Read time:
1 min.
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Our passing car kicks up
a host of starlings; from the passenger seat,
     I crane my neck backwards to see
as they swell and rise together.

The murmuration distends
and wanes over the blurry grass,
     in a moment bursting upwards
into something that prompts me 

to see it as the holy mother, theotokos,
then contracts into a black mass,
     at once forgetting what it was,
but always becoming itself again. 

Nothing changes like when you’re eighteen
and moving away. “Let’s stop up here,” he says.
     On the turnpike, in the cicada’s afternoon,
my dad and I are switching seats. 

Peter Spaulding
Peter Spaulding is a PhD student at Marquette University, living in Milwaukee with his wife, Erin. He writes poems and has dabbled in longer works, blogging, and podcasting. His favorite word is schism, he loves the Milwaukee County Transit System and John Milton, and has been really into Erik Satie lately.

Cover photo by Max Ostrozhinskiy.

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