Poems and Poetry

Mark Butler

The Ride Out Saturday | A Poem by Mark Butler

The night before our trip I dream again
of Syrian women bending to kiss the dry
lips of their dead children.

At noon we roll along the
turnpike riding the ridges
and valleys under a brittle blue,
fleeced with white trailing to the south.

At five, we pick our way through
the gray towns east of Pittsburgh.

After dinner she plays on my lap
burbling, soft hands scruffling my
cheeks, delighting in stubble and

I find her later in night-light shadows
with her father – my son – gently rocking.
A baby bottle empty, slipped to the floor.