Get Out of Town by Ann Howells

Get Out of Town

Ann Howells

I follow thin strands of humming wire
stretched pole to pole,

pass Empire of Golden Arches, Home Depot,
and Costco –

where you can buy anything ubiquitous
and mass-produced. I drive

among odd vehicles: black motorcycle
projecting a baritone roar,

school bus emptying grade-schoolers
then farting away,

and the guy two cars behind who revs
till his car quivers

like a stalking tiger. In the next lane,
a radio doppler-shifts

as a teen zooms off, and I decide right then,
there’s no volume too low

for rap. Tired of dodging eighteen-wheelers
I pull off

into a 7/11 doing a booming business
in beer and corn chips.

It’s not a great place, but better than anything
I left behind.

About the Author

Ann Howells edited Illya’s Honey for eighteen years. Her recent books are: So Long As We Speak Their Names (Kelsay Books, 2019) and Painting the Pinwheel Sky (Assure Press, 2020). Chapbooks include: Black Crow in Flight, Editor’s Choice in Main Street Rag’s 2007 competition, and Softly Beating Wings, William D. Barney Chapbook Competition winner (Blackbead Books, 2017). Ann’s work appears in small press and university publications, including Plainsongs, I-70 Review, and San Pedro River Review.