Dimmed by the Dashboard
Pulling into a Salina truck stop
the dashboard lights dim,
the purring engine ceases,
the rotating eighteen wheels halt.
Your headlights scope out
the open skies of the West: Colorado,
Kansas, Arizona and New Mexico.
Driving is all you know, like your father
and his father before him.
Drowned by miles of prairie dust,
desert heat and mountain snows,
you pause to study the fuel gauge.
Humming along to the drone of the road
I search through crackling stations on late night AM,
dropping in on a hokey call-in show.
“Who do you want to dedicate a song to?”
I say to myself, “A lonely trucker. No, his wife.”
”Please play ‘Living Between the Moon and New York City.’”
I stop the station wagon. The crunch of gravel
underneath four wheels turns to silence.
Waiting outside our Denver home,
I gaze at the odometer, mileage apart,
mileage together; the ledger of years,
coated by iridescent moonlight, swirls
on the dirt-encrusted dashboard.
Looking beyond the dark, the unspoken quiet
bleeds into dawn, and the light between us
remains unchanged, undimmed.
by Nancy Godbout Jurka
Pikes Peak Branch, CO