“Tanka (Lonely Highway)” by Tracy Davidson

Ekphrastic Challenge, February 2017: Artist’s Choice


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.

[download: 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

[download audio]


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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