Because the road to the daycare goes east,

on spring mornings we drive towards the sun

along a corridor of flowering dogwoods,

and it may be the illuminated white petals,

the second coffee I had before we left,

or Pink doing a Steve Miller song, the one

from Happy Feet that made me realize

she has a great voice, but suddenly I'm close

to tears. I have to lock my elbows to keep

the van on the road. Then I start laughing

because of how difficult it would be to explain

I drove into a tree after being overwhelmed

by the enigmatic beauty of this world.

From the backseat, my son asks, "Daddy,

What's wrong?" and when I say, "Nothing,

I'm just happy," he claps, "I'm happy too!"


A faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Joe Mills has published two volumes of poetry
Somewhere During the Spin Cycle and Angels, Thieves, and Winemakers.  His third collection, Love and Other
Collisions, will be released in March, 2010.

Considering how much of my work deals with melancholy, rue, and the passing of time, it was a pleasure to concentrate on one of those spontaneous moments of inexplicable good feeling. In an earlier version, the line read "the delicate beauty of the world." A reader that I trust praised that phrase. Nevertheless, it kept nagging me as not being precise enough, so eventually, and with some trepidation, I changed it.


Copyright 2009