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Like the Colossus of Rhodes

The poet’s highway sojourn, as he tests his stride against ‘darkness lurking in the guise of noon’, leaves him feeling like he is chained to the historical remains of the Colossus of Rhodes, the statute of the Greek sun God Helios.

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As I cross the highway my stride

shortens and my thighs go numb.

As if I’ve attempted to climb

an impossible alpine slope.

I drop to all fours and clamber

to the shoulder as a big truck

hoots past, diesel roar deafening.

What happened? The big night-wind

may have disordered me. Walking

along the roadside feels normal.

But when I recross, that same

cold weakness stops me midway

and only tremendous exertion

works me over the crown of the road.

I feel knee-deep in a dream

but recover enough to walk home,

dragging glittery sheaves of tinsel.

A cup of tea calms me. No more

crossing that dangerous highway.

No more trusting my unkempt body

to vault me over danger.

The morning braces itself

against the sky for leverage

and extracts a terrible windstorm.

Pines crackle and huge boughs fall,

ripping down the power lines.

The highway might be blocked but

I’m not going out again

to test my stride against darkness

lurking in the guise of noon—                                                 [stanza break]

my legs, like the Colossus

of Rhodes, stuck in historical mud.

Like the Colossus of Rhodes: Welcome
Notebook and Pen

William Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He has taught at several colleges and universities. His most recent book of poetry is Mist in Their Eyes (2021).  His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in various journals.

Like the Colossus of Rhodes: Text
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