Interstate 290

by Sushrut Jangi, SOM’09
Grand Prize Winner 2005 Gerald F. Berlin Creative Writing Award

I saw a falling star above the highway one night.
It was November and the cold had just begun
to press against the barks of the trees.
We had looked for them once, my father and I,
when he was alive and I was young and curious.
We sat on a dark hill and our eyes swept the sky.
He fidgeted with the telescope and a cigar.
My hands roamed through the grass until my fingers grew cold.
Look from the corner of your eyes, he said,
You have to catch them unaware.
When he died I read what he told me at his funeral.
People smiled but I’m not sure they knew what I meant.
What I meant was – driving in November,
while listening to songs I’d heard a thousand times,
I saw a blue light flare across the roof of the evening.
Goodbye, I said to him, under my breath.
I drove home and thought about the hill,
the smell of my father’s cigar,
and how the world loves to change
when it thinks you are no longer looking.