Combines and tractors kick up chaff,

dust, headlights ragged streaks

across half shorn fields. The twilight

smells of sweet grain, dry air.

A two lane highway curves

through small farm towns full of

church steeples, neon bar signs.

She can’t imagine going back to

any place like her hometown even

as the shapes of houses on her

childhood street, shortcuts downtown,

her father’s hands on the steering wheel,

pieces from a series of incomplete

details, linger on.

Out here

she can photograph pasts not

hers, pasts that suddenly found

themselves not exactly abandoned,

more likely inadvertently forgotten,

left behind in the rush to get on

to the next promise.

She’s found her own self

there at the side of some road,

night settled, hands empty.

Marianna Hofer has Studio 13 in the gloriously haunted Jones Building in Findlay, OH. Her poems and stories appear in small magazines, and her b&w photography hangs in local exhibitions and eateries. Her first book, A Memento Sent by the World, was published by Word Press in 2008.