Lady Soul

by Iain Haley Pollock

How easy, driving the White Mountains—
sundown, three beers deep—to hold 
the wheel steady and become a tangent, 

jump the banked asphalt, rip 
through the guardrail’s flimsy demurral, 
to give over to gravity, let it drag you 

down into a birch trunk or a boulder’s
weather-rounded granite. They’d blame 
the wreck on alcohol or your ignorance 

of the road or the severity of the curve. 
But before you left the bar in Plymouth 
you queued her on the car stereo 

and while, above you, coronas haze 
around the mountain peaks, she’s singing—
“People Get Ready”—and you follow her. 

When you pull the car beside the house 
where you’ll spend the night, your tires 
spray gravel against the vinyl siding. And

the next morning, you wake to dawn light
blocked by curtains into shifting shadow, light 
blocked but there and rippling into the room

when a summer morning sets the curtains 
to sway, sun light thick and resinous and 
there and rippling and rippling and there.



Iain Haley Pollock has written two poetry collections, Ghost, Like a Place (Alice James Books), which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and Spit Back a Boy (U of Georgia Press), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize.  He is the English Department Chair at Rye Country Day School and a member of the poetry faculty at the Solstice MFA Program of Pine Manor College.  In addition, he curates the Kitchen Table Reading Series, a bi-monthly online poetry reading.

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