Learning Southeastern Ohio's Curves 
by Mark Allen Jenkins

In Ohio’s southeastern corner, untouched
by glacier and little else, roads ribbon hills, turn sharp
between farms. Between my house and high school, the only
straight road a mile of US route 40. The rest, a tame
roller coaster I learned to drive
on. Near a Mennonite’s mailbox
adorned with Prepare
to meet thy maker, my driver’s ed instructor
slammed the brakes. Later, out practicing
with my father who utters look out 
we’re going to die to slow me
down as we turned off on Route 668 to cut 
up and over Muskingum County past
Flint Ridge, where dead
leaves cover clay streaked hills.

Originally from the hilly corner of Ohio, Mark Allen Jenkins currently lives and teaches in Houston. He completed a PhD in Humanities from the University of Texas at Dallas. His poetry has appeared in Memorious, South Dakota Review, Every River on Earth: Writing from Appalachian Ohio, and Gargoyle

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