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October 2013, vol 9, no 3

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Carol Pearce-Wothington

Where He Stands

At 5:00 AM I cross the George Washington Bridge onto I-80 and roar into the Pennsylvania mountains. Sun behind me, air pouring through the small borrowed car, I grip the steering wheel and scream: I'M COMING I'M COMING I'M COMING.

a sparrow's
splits the sky

On a hill above the administration building, he wears the brown wool cap he wore in a dream of release and that I smuggled in last week. He calls to me from the hill.

One evening I rode back to the city with a woman named Elizabeth. On I-80 where traffic split north and east, she panicked and we spun out whirling around and around in the dark and the rain across five lanes until we stopped on the shoulder of the highway. Very very carefully, I said take your time Elizabeth, breathe deeply, and when you're ready—no hurry—ease back into traffic…

Up there on the hill he is still theirs. I know enough to be careful. I go inside to use his prison ID for the last time.

cold river
at the crossing
her blue arms