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Leaving the Dodge in the Fog

by Bruce W Niedt

(Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival,

Waterloo Village, New Jersey, September 2000)


Up here in modest mountains,

where we share the joy of craft

in a village cluttered with new tents,

populated by poets, real and imagined

at mid-evening, the mist clings to us all.

It can be seen in the lighted air,

suspension of vapor, swarming droplets,

curling the covers of new books in the makeshift store.


This is a fog in progress –

light behind a shed rays up into gray

like a five-fold fan,

a cluster of frozen searchlights,

a warning beacon.


So I leave, before the evening gets thicker.

Headlights poke forward on this unlit, fog-bound road.

Each hill, each curve looks like the edge of the world.

I creep ahead on faith alone.

For all I’ve seen and heard today,

coaxing the meaning of poetry out,

like meat from a crab leg,

I still don’t know where this will take me.


Will I ever be a name

like those on the program folded in my pocket?

Will I lose my words tomorrow?

Will this thick folder I carry

be left in an infinitesimal rain,

its cover curling heavenward?


No matter how much light I shine on these questions,

it reveals nothing –

only the reflection of high beams in a fog,

more myself than an answer.


Posted on 10/08/2001
Copyright © 2021 Bruce W Niedt

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Jeanne Marie Hoffman on 09/25/03 at 12:49 AM

I like how the fog and the future of a writer are compared... because it feels so fitting to me after reading that. You cannot see what will come next at all!

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