Susan Rich

Geology Lessons
May 19, 2016 Rich Susan

Geology Lessons


I look back through the window of a Greyhound Bus
stopped by the side of the road.

Before the cell phone or CB radio—

I travel back to the boy and girl wrought golden
in this-moment-before-we-grow-old.

His earth brown eyes reveal
a passion for simple rock face,
the feel of striation beneath well-trained hands.

Along the shoulder of the Massachusetts Turnpike,
in an age before water bottles or sensible snacks,

I swallow whole Precambrian tales
of North American time—
volcanic islands colliding.

He confesses as if in terrestrial prayer

how he cried out, that his hands
caressed the crevices, lingered inside—

the smell like honeysuckle and rain.

I lean in as the cars speed by,
as the other passengers curse or sleep.

Until the driver flags down a second bus,
until the natural frameworks of a life—

light-tipped and double-windowed

tumble us toward separate tectonic plates
and away through the ages of 19, 21, & more—

Susan Rich is the author of five books of poetry. Her most recent is BLUE ATLAS (Red Hen Press). Her awards include a PEN USA Award, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Times Literary Supplement Award. Rich’s poems have appeared in the Antioch Review, New England Review, O Magazine, Image Journal, and elsewhere.