Tarring the Road

by Catherine Stearns

When they blocked off Jefferson and Madison  with orange barricades, a tanker’s spray gun  shot the pavement and men’s bodies shone.   The way laid bare the shimmering world .    Before they could return with gravel and steamroller  we hollered the dare from our front stoops––   the way, the way, the shimmering way away ––    then bolted across the road,  hot muck stuck between our toes,  our soles sealed for the rest of summer.


Catherine Stearns is originally from the Midwest but now lives in Natick, Massachusetts. Her first book of poems, The Transparency of Skin, published by New Rivers Press, was a Minnesota Voices Project winner. She stopped writing for several years, but last spring published a chapbook, Then & Again, with Slate Roof Press. She’s had recent poems in Poetry Daily, New Ohio Review, and The Yale Review, among other journals.