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Going Through Owings Mills


Norma DaCrema
Mix Tape • Poetry

Now in my jittery dotage I drive slowly,

as if there were still deer for me

to spare, braking for plastic bags

caught on bushes and strewn bottles

glinting like the empty eyes of roadkill.

I’m trying to find the ravine around the bend,

 

the borrowed cars parked along the alfalfa

with all of us at sixteen making love by AM radio,

back before the strip malls and the Metro

made an “edge city” of superhighways

out of the leafy streets where we practiced

our two-point turning and parallel parking.

 

In those days this was a Saturday drive,

past the posh mall with its chandeliers

and winding stairs, Angela Lansbury

on-stage at Painters Mill, and a dozen crabhouses

selling steamers on pepper-soaked newspapers–

Owings Mills at the eye of everything good,

 

like being bell-bottomed in the beaded doorway

to my poster-plastered bedroom,

right between the beanbag chair

and my turntable with two dimes

still taped to a diamond needle.

But looking back isn’t safe,

 

not in six lanes of traffic

speeding through Owings Mills,

with no room to pull over

and no good reason anymore

for me to do anything

but keep going.