“Tanka (Lonely Highway)” by Tracy Davidson

Hwy 41 by Debbie McAfee

Image: “Hwy 41” by Debbie McAfee. “Tanka (Lonely Highway)” was written by Tracy Davidson for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, February 2017, and selected by McAfee as the Artist’s Choice winner. (PDF / JPG)


Tracy Davidson


lonely highway
the wheat fields of my childhood
come back to me
the unrelenting crop
my father beat me with

Ekphrastic Challenge, February 2017
Artist’s Choice


Comment from the artist, Debbie McAfee, on this selection: “I was driving alone up to Yosemite to go to a friend’s daughter’s wedding. I left late, because I had something to do in the morning. It was October, and the sky was gray, and it was about to rain. It was a long, lonely drive, and I was thinking about the past and my life. I stopped at a gas station and saw this scene across the field. I took out my phone and took a photo, which I posted on Instagram—and then several years later turned it into this artwork. I picked the poem I did because it hit me immediately upon reading. It seemed to capture the mood I felt as I was driving along the road and took the photo. Although the thoughts were not the same as in the poem, I felt like it captured the mood of the day perfectly.”

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