November, Blackford County, Indiana – a poem by Daniel Bowman Jr

November, Blackford County, Indiana 

Daylight Savings Time has come to an end
            and I find myself grateful
to live on the western-most edge
            of the Eastern Standard zone,
where the light—the sun and all it shines on—
            stays a little longer.

Yet sometimes, driving home at dusk,
            I feel the urge to pull over, park,
get out, enter the vast fields of corn stubble
            along Route 26, walk in the mud
toward the patch of woods on the horizon.
            As the poet said:
promises to keep, etc.

            But what of this desire 
to be swallowed by darkness,
            out of reach of fluorescent lights,
streetlights, headlights, God forbid screens,
            to render useless nearly everything
            except one’s own dumb presence,
 the wind, and whatever creatures
            scurry about?

 I don’t pull over, of course, don’t get out. 
            I go home
where everything looks right,
            where everything is just as it should be
except my animal heart
            lost in the thicket,
burrowing deeper toward the core.

Daniel Bowman Jr is the author of A Plum Tree in Leatherstocking Countryand Notes from the Spectrum (Brazos Press, 2021). A native New Yorker, he lives in Indiana, where he is Associate Professor of English at Taylor University and Editor-in-chief of Relief: A Journal of Art & Faith


  1. erikleo says:

    Good to read a poem which is truthful and straightforward – not bogged down with verbosity. What, though, is the reference to ‘promises to keep’? (Forgive my ignorance! I may know once my memory is prompted.)


    1. madhuri says:

      Robert Frost’s poem ‘ the woods are lovely dark and deep/ but I have promises to keep / and miles to go before I sleep / and miles to go before I sleep.


      1. erikleo says:

        Ah, yes thanks – I knew it was there somewhere in the back of my mind!

        Liked by 1 person

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