Guest Poem by Lynne Hjelmgaard

Lynne Hjelmgaard was born in NYC and lived in Denmark; studied at Aarhus Art Academy and Frobel Seminarium.  After crossing the Atlantic in a sailboat with her husband, she wrote her first chapbook, Distance Through the Water. Lynne has published four collections of poetry. Her last two collections, A Boat Called Annalise (2016) and A Second Whisper (2019) were published with Seren Books. Her 5 th book, The Turpentine Tree will be published with Seren in Oct. 2023.

Night Journey: On the Greyhound Bus

I trusted the soft-spoken driver,
the sound of his foot on the pedal,
humming of the engine

once we reached the highway,
cocooned by other passengers,
coaxing me into a dreamless sleep.

When we were further south, past midnight,
we stretched our legs at a gas station –
suddenly aware of the closeness

of strangers – and that first wave
of hot humid air. I knew in the morning
we would reach sunny Richmond,

and I would run into the arms of my father.
I still love that Richmond moon,
that southern heat – the Howard Johnson’s motel

with its neutral-coloured curtains,
pull-out bed and starchy whites.
My first taste of a sun shower

standing in the shallow end of the pool –
sunshine and rain as astonishing
as the sudden happiness of my family.