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Two Poems by Julie Brooks Barbour

Two Poems





I had to feel around to position myself.

I touched cold metal handles


and pulled at locks.  Sometimes moonlight

streamed in momentarily or my husband


clicked on a ceiling light to check the map.

I could suddenly see the outlines of objects—


a rearview mirror, knobs on the radio—

all out of reach. In the passenger seat


my sleeping daughter’s head rocked

against the window. Once clouds swallowed


the disc of moon or my husband

had his bearings again, the only lights left


were headlight beams shining on the road ahead.

Off to the side were other roads.







Down the road a gas station and, outside,

a vending machine hanging empty.


If the racks inside are still unfilled, the light

still gleaming behind that glass, I’ll break in,

rip out the tiny compartments, shelve


my petite body. I’ll wear a sequined dress

and whiten my teeth, and the light


will illuminate my glittering eyeshadow,

the mica in my blush. I’ll be shipped

from place to place, a treasure, someone


to notice. Among these fields I notice

only the wind, the way it whips

around the house, flaking the paint job.






Julie Brooks Barbour is the author of Small Chimes (forthcoming from Aldrich Press in 2014) and a chapbook, Come To Me and Drink (Finishing Line Press, 2012). Her poems have appeared in Waccamaw, diode, Kestrel, storySouth, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, The Rumpus, Rose Red Review, Escape Into Life, and on Verse Daily. She teaches at Lake Superior State University where she is co-editor of the journal Border Crossing.


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