Driving in Drought by Carol L. MacKay

Poem title: Driving in Drought
Poet name: Carol L. MacKay
Poem: It’s like something you’d see on the side of a 70’s van:  a pearl-handled moon 
smoking blue and edgeless, strokes of feathers beneath, dusk like a misty Louisiana 
bayou, except there’s not enough humidity to carry off the illusion. I’m on gravel, eight miles south of Ryley, a town I know by sight. But I don’t recognize the sounds:  the crunch of gopher feet through sun-stared ditches, the weathered shacks knuckling, the silent deer strategically placed between ditch and shack, as if it knows about airbrush 
aesthetics and painted boogie vans. Earth colours that haven’t shown themselves in years blow off the doe’s back, land thick and tawny onto my dashboard. There’s a powerful thirst for anything green, even lime vinyl interior, it seems, when pasture, foliage and money dries up.

A little further down the road, beside an abandoned homestead where caraganas 
have given up their fight against prairie winds, the Neon dies. Battery, alternator, fuel pump, shame. We stretch out on the hood, the moist pearl moon and I, back-down across a lush pasture, watching the manes of rearing appaloosas fly; the grey howl of green-eyed wolves rising. 
End of poem. 
Credits and bio: Copyright © Carol L. MacKay
Previously published in Lichen (Spring 2004) and in Fire and Sky: A Canadian Anthology of Poetry (Brydge Builder Press, 2016).
Carol MacKay’s recent publications include poems in Prairie Journal, Sea & Cedar, Devour: Art and Lit Canada, Little Thoughts, The Toy (England), The Caterpillar (Ireland), and the League of Canadian Poets’ visual poetry chapbook, Spectral Lines. She was awarded the Magazine Merit Award for Poetry by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) in 2020.