“An American Experience” by Dale Cottingham

While I waited at roadside I thought,
why not try some loveliness. So I did.
I saw visions in far reaches, felt
the soft touch of silence, melodies
came from solitude, it was like a dream.
I even tried my hand on the page.
I wondered how it would jive.

But real time kept barging in.
There were meetings in the broad hours,
cross purposes were hurled down
corridors, my inbox flooded with unkind puzzles,
thorny problems, bills arrived from far away.
Was it for this I traveled out of the den
to be exposed on a open plain?
I wondered what to make of it,
this parade of voices, images.
New commercials for products
they said I needed droned on
and on.

Then that too passed away.

Dale Cottingham is of mixed race, part Choctaw, part White. He is a Breadloafer, won the 2019 New Millennium Award for Poem of the Year and is a finalist in the 2021 Midwest Review Great American Poetry Contest. He lives in Edmond, Oklahoma.

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