The Poetic Hill

January 2019


Katherine E. Young is the author of “Day of the Border Guards,” a 2014 Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize finalist, and two chapbooks, Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Iowa Review, Subtropics, and many other journals, and her translations of Russian authors have won international awards and been published widely in the US and abroad. She will discuss her work as a translator of Russian-language poetry and prose at “Translation Becomes the Poet,” a lecture, reading and lunch at the Arts Club of Washington, 2017 I Street, NW, at noon on January 31. For details, go to, and for more on the poet, visit

Driving to Juniata
for David Hutto

Up there’s the interstate, peeping through trees.
Down here among hollows, satellite dishes,
a man on his deck guzzles beer, wishes
he were driving that highway. His fancy speeds
past the graveyard of riding mowers, the three-
foot ceramic gnome squatting on the lawn
beside a cabin whose mailbox reads “Yablonski” —
speed’s his algorithm for life, for freedom.
I don’t know where America lives, but I know
in my bones she’s down here, among red-lacquered
barns, weed-choked byways, plank bridges.
She bleeds through the landfills, the tiered ridges
of doublewides, the hand-lettered placards
with directions to Jesus. Be patient. Go slow.

— first published in Qarrtsiluni


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