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Dawn Richerson

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Between Two Worlds
by Dawn Richerson

Friday, September 05, 2003

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Wary still of familiar break of day,
I greet morning with my usual
degree of hesitation, simple nod
of acknowledgement suffices where
others might extend warm welcome.

Though I rise late, these early hours
pass slowly, dragging me, reluctant
participant in unfolding drama of life,
through murky territory of mind
where obscure metaphors dally.

In hazy dream I leave behind,
surly bad boy biker with seeker eyes
drinks water at the bar, thirsty
for something other than
Miller Light on a rainy night.

He separates self from raucous crowd
of cantankerous carousers, companions
he rides with by day but distances
himself from each night as he becomes
an outcast among a band of outcasts.

“Wolfman” leads boisterous hell-raisers
among whom he used to feel at home.
His distaste for them, for who
he used to be and pretends still
to be swells like infected bite.

He sees me walk into the bar, only
place I find open at 3 a.m. when my car
breaks down on stretch of road.
More frightened to stay put than
darken the doors of honky-tonk heaven,

I have walked the quarter mile
to the finest establishment in this
God-forsaken town. Dripping wet,
I order 7-Up and scoop up handful
of stale peanuts from crystal dish

that doesn’t seem to fit downscaled décor.
I find myself between two worlds,
safe suburban enclave where I used to be
at home and winding highways I travel
after dark, free to be who I would become.

At opposite end of pinewood bar,
he gives a half smile and raises water glass.
Odd choice of drink on such a dreary night,
I think, then laugh at absurdity of observation 
and down another swig of caffeine-free soft drink.

Black leather jacket and biker boots suit him,
yet there is something distinctly familiar
about him. Something with which
I instantly identify swims in his eyes,
deep-set, dark and wise but discontent.

Recognition of kindred spirit sparks
some buried ember of hope that has lain
hidden in my healing heart. Grateful
to know others also ride between two worlds
in search of truth, I return his smile.

We pass the hours in silence, content
to drink to solidarity that surprises us
this blessed stormy night we share
stranded in bleak barroom island.
Last night’s dream lingers, imparts

astonishing gift of grace and a reminder
in harsh light of morning’s rude awakenings
that miracles materialize in the space
between two worlds for those who dare
to ride and cast expected roles aside.

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Reviewed by E T Waldron 9/5/2003
Exceptional write!The imagery is vivid, reminds me of one of Brando's first films a motorcycle and bar can't think of the name;-) saw it on AMC tv.
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