Looking for America David Atkinson Poetry

local_library Looking for America

by David Atkinson

Published in Issue No. 262 ~ March, 2019

So I looked at the scenery

She read her magazine.”

America’: Simon and Garfunkel


A pair of blue denim, a parka, January draughts

gust through crevices, crevasses of a Greyhound,

overnight transport of the poor. Anchored in

an upright bunk, odour of the matted mass.


A month from the west coast to the east,

a month of the rhythmic bounce of wheels

trundling along the interstates to harmonies

of Paul Simon, his rhythmic rhyme.


At midnight we roll into Flagstaff, Arizona.

Iridescent interplay across the passengers

roused, ruffled by fleeting streetlamps,

occasional headlights of oncoming pickups.

Gritty city bus station, driver stretches,

five minutes.


We sweep along the highway, baby dozes,

‘colored’ section at the back.

Tattered cardigan of his mother,

she gazes out into the dark, fug of smoke.

Jaws sag, no Rosa Parks here.

Murmurs to her neighbour, Carter is from the south,

a glance of hope for the inauguration.


And the moon rose over an open field”.

The lilting voice of Art Garfunkel

across the vastness of the plains of Texas.

I sway, shudder a dream against the winter window.

My deprivation is a lack of sleep.


The leg from El Paso to San Antonio,

its sixth hour, in the staleness of our thin tin can,

eyelids droop at last.

We have found America.

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David Atkinson is a poet in Sydney, Australia. David's poems have been widely published in Australia and the USA and his collection 'The Ablation of Time' is available through Ginninderra Press. Favoured areas for poetic expression include the human condition and the natural world