Between the Stations

The presets are nonsense, directions
to nowhere. Coaxing the dial
across the notches we nuance, tune our ears
to any clear scrap
in the static.


On country roads we seek
the scrutable sounds
of a ballgame, some station
to hold across time
zones and state lines, under trestles
or through shallows:

a broadcast to carry us
like a flare into centerfield,
a play-by-play phrase
you favor. Your phase now spent
between signals, in the widening flickering interim
where our hope hangs
like a flannel from a nail,
a shirt you lived in.
We are in for it:


this long drive where a favorite
song—if we could catch
just a measure of it—
would steer the car
and slow the oar
as we head toward shore.


Art by Brenda Manthe


Between the Stations by Benj Vardigan won second place in Saint Paul Almanac’s Break Through Writing Contest in the category of poetry.

Benj Vardigan lives in Minneapolis and also calls Michigan’s two peninsulas home. His poems have appeared in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Fourteen Hills, Washington Square Review, The Lifted Brow, and more.

Posted in: Poetry