The Quotable

Three Days in a Winnebago Funmover

I know it’s my turn to drive when the night fog curls
around the Winnebago,
when the West Virginia mountains teeter totter
at 20 degree angles.

How did I get stuck driving the night shift? The most scared driver
takes graveyard. The people who are going to get together
on the trip take the day.
The couple with the pre-move break-up sleeps
and wakes at the same hours.

I never drove a box before. The wind pushes us
over the white highway lines
into the rumble strips.

The cat, awake, foams
at the mouth. The others sleep like they’d been taxidermied.

The distant city lights unhinge, swirl around, rearrange
into an airplane on a runway. The plane lifts off
above my head and the runway fades
into the rear view distance.

My shift is over when my ex’s face erases
and matches the landscape.

Whose idea it was to stop at the crater in Arizona? I suspect
my sister and my ex’s friend when they slip into the dark
theater. The visitor’s center plays videos
starring giant ground sloths, mammoths.

The displays include an interactive game
that lets you choose the size
of the meteor that crashes into the Earth. My ex wants me
to see that he picks a meteor so large, Earth is destroyed.

I ask everyone what they see, as if the crater
was an inkblot test: “a giant pool waiting
to be filled up with water,” “a meteor’s bad mood.”
If anyone asked me,
I would have said, “scaffolding for us to climb to view
Something Missing.”



Valerie Loveland is the author of Reanimated, Somehow (Scrambler Books, 2009). Her poetry has been featured in Dzanc Book’s Best of the Web 2008 and at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. She enjoys running, kiln glass arts and listening to audio poetry. She works as an optician in Acton, Massachusetts.


Subscribe or Buy

Like this piece?

Support the artist!

Share This