Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

“No Filter”

Book Excerpt: What We Take With Us

No Filter

I remember an early fall
and curvy roads on Highway 25.
I remember mist and fading trees,
a crumbling barn, a slanted house
against the mountainside.
I took pictures out the window,
lens filtered for fog.
I remember a sudden storm —
torrents, and gusts juddered
the Datsun side to side.
My windshield blurred
green and yellow like a Matisse.
Tires skidded on wet pavement.
To stop the wild tailspin,
I gripped the wheel, told myself
to steer in the direction of the skid.
I remember trembling like a fawn.
When at last the vehicle stopped,
headlights faced the wrong direction.
Eyes trained to yellow lines,
I drove home through the deluge.
I remember I hugged my child
to my pounding chest.
He was watching Batman,
legs crossed like sticks.
He barely looked up,
oblivious to my shifted view.

“No Filter”

Copyright © 2021 by Sylvia Woods. All rights reserved. Sylvia Woods is a native of Eastern Kentucky who taught high school English in East Tennessee for 43 years. Her poems have appeared in Appalachian Review, Calliope, Centrifugal Eye, Tennessee English Journal, and elsewhere. What We Take With Us is her first full-length poetry collection.

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