“I Speed Toward the Moon” by Constance Hanstedt

Constance Hanstedt


On a deserted Oakland freeway
after a leisurely June evening
of free writes and rough drafts
I speed toward the moon.

Kmart’s red neon flashes off Fruitvale,
an exit I avoid like a freshly tarred road
blistering in the grasp of noonlight.

I watch the moon slide smoothly into
a pearl pocket of clouds as if a love letter
slipping into a fine linen envelope.

KFOG calls me back, as does a jet
black Harley darting from center to left,
its single lamp now a piercing spotlight.
Too close, I gasp, too close.

We part as the freeway splits, where
three white crosses tower over curving
concrete and rise to the brilliant round
burst of the moon.

from Rattle #19, Summer 2003
Tribute to the Twenty-Minute Poem


Constance Hanstedt: “After six or eight hours of payroll and personnel, I drive what others refer to as ‘the long way’ home. Unlike the roaring freeway, the snappy boulevards trimmed with small pines and pink myrtles soothe me. Later, alone in my bedroom, I shape the earth’s hues and tones into phrases and lines. The form suits me. Writing poetry ensures a wonderful day.”

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