When the World Disappears
Driving through a flat-out prairie
blizzard is a classic struggle between
terror and faith. Between Paynton and
the Battlefords the world disappears
horizon, buildings, trees, traffic,
the road itself, all gone. Snow,
blasted by a fierce south-easter,
obliterates equally land and sky.
On this two-way stretch of highway
we drive into the snow cloud.
As vehicles behind and in front
vanish from my sight, so too have I
from them, my hands iron vises
clinging to the steering wheel,
clinging to frail threads of reason,
clinging to little more than blind hope
as the white-out erodes confidence
and panic probes below
the thin skin of logic.
We hurtle through nothingness,
my silent prayer willing that whatever
lies on the other side of this void,
whatever other drivers are steering
the margins of their own misery,
their paths do not intersect mine.
We are, all of us, blind pilgrims
groping for some distant shrine
lost from our view, alive only
in the minds that will them.
from Canadian Poetry Online