Morning Rig

By Angela Sorby
Feature image: Ophelia, 1851-2 by Sir John Everett Millais, Bt

The moon knows the laws—
the factors, the forces,
and is at peace. Look,

it’s unconscious up there!
Meanwhile, my brother quits
being a bankruptcy attorney

to get his Class B Trucking license.
Why? Let’s wake the moon
to ask why other people make

their weird other-people-decisions.
This is the origin of all religions.
An important part of the story:

the moon never responds.
It lies languid, bathed
in darkness like Ophelia,

while big rigs turn their engines
over as dawn breaks pink
with pollen and pollution.

So much is broken,
but never the largest laws—
how wheels set in motion

spin unless something stops them,
but never skid over the line
from speed to freedom.


Angela Sorby is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Marquette University. Her most recent poetry book is The Sleeve Waves, from the University of Wisconsin Press; prior books include Bird Skin Coat (Wisconsin), Schoolroom Poets (UPNE), and Distance Learning (New Issues).

Website: https://www.marquette.edu/english/directory/angela-sorby.php

Feature image: Image released under Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND (3.0 Unported). Presented by Sir Henry Tate 1894, Photo © Tate

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