6. Unstuck

A snowstorm struck and we were stuck,
housebound for days. I missed my plane,
but relished hours for talking.
Finally a plow broke through
that heavy, wet, white glue
and I was free to leave.

My borrowed car slept, still
wrapped in its wintry quilt,
where I'd parked it atop the hill
in case the slope got slippery.

I worked hard to drive free,
but was still snowbound
when he drove up and scowled.
The air grew rank as in the past
when problems fouled a scene.

The trees had been whispering
but they hushed as disapproval
rushed from him to me. At last
I got unstuck and slowly drove
between those trees that always heard.

At the highway it was time to part
with our usual unspoken touch,
but to be silent now was too much:
I'd come too far for that.
Somehow, from deep within my gut,
three imprisoned words broke free
to accompany my pat
upon his aged shoulder.

He heard. He shook.
The trees leaned closer
to have a better look.
His face contorted
with generations of taboo,
and yet he groaned,
'I love you, too,

I hungrily devoured those words
and savored them for miles as I drove.
It was worth traveling so far to get

by Albert Johnson

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