"Heading South on a January Adventure" - Bob Ambrose

"Heading South on a January Adventure" - Bob Ambrose

In memory of Marcus Borg, and appreciation for Epworth by the Sea
Athens, Georgia
January 24, 2015

There are sullen winter spells
that settle heavy on the soul
like overcooked comfort food
on two hour naps through

half dark days, stuck
in a string of gray thirties,
when wet descends in cold
drifts; when stoic dogs

slink tail down and humans
trudge a step behind,
shoulders hunched, as both
begrudge the grim task;

when songbirds are silent
fluffballs decorating bare
branches, and muffled crows
cast about, listless. But, yes —

when the cold cloud lifts;
when morning frost makes fractal
arcs and silver whorls tag windshields;
when the sky dome glows blue again

I shall head south on a state road, past
brown fields of dog fennel when backlit
tips are tan halos behind stubble ditches
and broomsedge shoulders. I shall sail

over silhouettes of distant cattle plying
well trod pasture; beyond tin-roof sheds,
strewn about with farm machines; above
wet lawns anchored by scotch broom

and lonely oak; over ordered rows of old
pecan outside the town where Remus
broods; through the strip past Andalusia,
set apart from the way to Walmart.

I shall crest the fall line and roll the frozen
swells of an ancient seabed that stretches
out to the blue-green horizon of barren
plantations in cash-crop pine.

Will you come too? Shall we tune
our souls to a mellow song? Can we
‘Let it Be’ ‘Sweet Baby James’ down
‘The Long and Winding Road’ again?

So calm we are energized by Enya.
So centered we bless the car that cuts
us off and love the occupied driver
inside. For there are kind winter

spells, and we are heading south,
cutting through noon shadows
to a land of graybeard and ghosts,
confluence of earth and sky, river

and sea, where brackish channels
braid marsh and mudbank, porpoise
feed the peaceful waters, and mist
mingles with heaven at dawn.

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