portion of the artwork for William Doreski's poem

On Our Dark Side of the Mountain
William Doreski

Along the gravel back roads
abandoned apple orchards
scratch at the cloudy spring dusk.

We can’t map these roads because
shadows drift from the forest
and claim the heavy stone walls

and crude foundations of farms
obsolete before the Civil War.
A few modern houses spiked

with satellite dishes and sporting
big glossy pickup trucks
invite us with barking dogs

to keep going until we reach
the nearest paved highway.
You suspect ambush everywhere,

fear that having entered this maze
we can’t escape. The shadows
thicken like cooling fat.

Thunder barks atop the hills.
Taking turns driving your old
gray Corolla doesn’t resolve

the landscape until we cross
the unused railroad and realize
the state road meanders parallel

to the track. Friendly contours
ensue, and a village we know
as personally as a handshake.

All this wanderlust only
a few miles from home. The hills
nod and a spark of lightning

celebrates our escape, the carcass
of a struck porcupine deflated
in post-winter roadside grit.

Return to Archive

FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 46 | Fall 2015