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POETRY
Hurrying Home to My Father
Tom Laughlin

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A purple moon reaches
suddenly out from within
thick trees, finding branches
weakened by October's shake
while the highway weaves
and sinks. Jumping

above the trees
after a winding left,
it's orange this time
and staring – unround –
until the wall of a truck
rushes by, forcing my eyes
back to the road.

Yellow now and higher
on this straight stretch,
it moves as strangely
as you -- wheeled home
the last time, your left hand
grasping for my right.

My headlights, alone,
follow the exit
into the wooded street
I bicycled years earlier.
Home is ahead
where trees close in
on the narrowing road.


Tom Laughlin is a professor at Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts where he teaches creative writing, literature, and composition courses. He was a founding editor of Vortext, a literary journal of Massasoit Community College, and a staff reader for ten years at Ploughshares. His poetry has appeared in Green Mountains Review, North Essex Review, Dead River Review, Ibbetson Street, and other smaller journals and magazines.