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A poem from Jo Barbara Taylor

Gravel Road
by Jo Barbara Taylor

I remember how hard it is to drive in fresh gravel, to keep
the tires straight. Front wheels dig for the weft of the road,
back tires weave a wavy pattern
     that shuttling sound

how dust bloats up as a car trundles down the road,
leaves you cloaked in dirty talcum powder,
croaks a deep cough
     that rasping sound

how it is hard to walk in gravel, the clumsy road
stretches ahead, no steady groove, you just slip-slide,
roll with the rocks to balance,
               that shifting sound

I know rejiggering gravel, twisting stone under wheels.
The grader guts through grit each week,
the rattle of settling,
                  that shuffling sound

I remember the hope of a tarvey, black and smooth,
to lay dust on a thirsty day,
pave your way
                       that mumbling sound

Jo Barbara Taylor lives outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, grew up in Indiana, and remains an Indiana farm girl at heart. She taught English in public school for 21 years. Her poems and academic writing have appeared in journals, Including Tipton Poetry Journal and Inwood Indiana, magazines and anthologies. She leads poetry workshops for the North Carolina Poetry Society and OLLI through Duke Continuing Education. She has published four chapbooks, the most recent, High Ground by Main Street Rag, 2013.