Matthew Johnson

Scenic Sunday Drive Upstate


Suppose that the road upstate,

Flanked by orchards and dotted by bed-and-breakfast lodges,

Was actually endless, and did not merely feel endless

Due to the presence and frequent, speed-bump interruptions

Of colonial-size villages and hamlets requiring 30 MPH speed limits.

If there was no need to decelerate our engine,

And autumn drives on mountainous Sundays were truly without restrictions,

I would loop back again, continuously,

And repeatedly drive past the orchards and bed-and-breakfast lodges.

I would drive northward always,

At a tempo meant for the hurried world of the city, until the car became unsalvageable,

And I would be pleasantly stuck in those same villages and hamlets,

Encircled by the mountains, whose luster when the sun hits,

Is simply perfect.


(This poem previously appeared in Mathew Johnson's poetry collection Far from New York State.)  

Matthew Johnson is the author of Shadow Folks and Soul Songs (Kelsay Books) and Far from New York State (New York Quarterly Press). His work has appeared in Front Porch Review, Roanoke Review, Northern New England Review, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and elsewhere. A former sports journalist and editor (The USA Today College, The Daily Star in Oneonta, NY), he has also been a Sundress Publications Residency recipient and a multi-time Best of the Net nominee. Matthew is currently the managing editor of The Portrait of New England and the poetry editor of The Twin Bill. Website: Twitter: @Matt_Johnson_D


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