“Patrolman” by Douglas Cole


highway patrolman on his stretch of road
floating in the green forest
goes back and forth between two towns
and some days forgets which is which
road like a white fire current in summer
rolling from sea to shining sea
and once in a while he drives off
into a field because he’s bored and alone
there on his Mobius strip where he knows
every bit of gravel by name and each drop off
and all the rivers that cut underneath
the hats and tires and shirts he finds
a dresser drawer and once a human bone
abandoned cars and wandering people lost
the road his road his world his place
he could get away with any vicious act
he thinks in the long hours going round
as he hits the lights to pull you over


Douglas Cole has published four poetry collections and has another forthcoming this year called The Gold Tooth in the Crooked Smile of God. His work appears in anthologies such as Best New Writing, Bully Anthology, and Coming Off The Line (published through Mainstreet Rag), as well as journals such as The Chicago Quarterly Review, Owen Wister Review, Slipstream, Red Rock Review, and Midwest Quarterly. More is available online in The Adirondack Review, Ithaca Lit, Talking Writing, as well as recorded stories in Bound Off and The Baltimore Review.

He has been nominated for two Pushcarts and a Best of the Web. He received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry; the Best of Poetry Award from Clapboard House; and First Prize in the “Picture Worth 500 Words” from Tattoo Highway.” Interviews and publication links can be found at douglastcole.com.

Featured image by Clem Onojeghuo

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