Voices on the Wind Memorable Voices
Still Driving Through Kansas by Mark Vogel Over and over an endless story retold out past Topeka in prairie wind, sand, and moving sky just like in that stupid Kansas song, as six week old kittens awake, and spill mewing from the depths of back seat blankets, the last breathing remnants of flickering Denver. Just me and them rushing east for a long haul, straight on to the not-so-bright lights of Kansas City. Eighty miles gone and dark clouds shroud, killing afternoon light, and a cold revenge wind from the Rockies rocks the car. Snow spits first in Goodland, then blows in frightening gray winter murk, the fat heavy flakes covering the lines. Wild to get on, a Californian in a Lincoln rushes from behind, crowding close, then fishtails off the road. I know then how much I have underestimated— how lost I am in white with bald tires, lonely heart racing pale, pulling the car to the side, lurching onto the plain. With the ignition cut, the snow blankets the windows, while behind me tumbling kittens scramble to stay warm. Behind closed eyes, so soon comes the knock on the window, an officer checking, then saying go on, this is no place to stop. The wry mature humor in the limping metallic crawl back on the highway, the instinctual attempt to explain bleak danger to crying kittens. How moving to outrace the encroaching threat alters chemistry, so in thick clogging cold air ten miles on the radio sings the hated Kansas song loud— translated wild and free—necessary.