Edge of the Road

Country  road  is man’s  Pastureland is God’s notion      
idea.      Construct of        inspiration of the heart   
the mind.    Engineered    free and wild and alive        
and         systematic.            endless acres          
Direct route.  Straight    of weeds and wildflowers       
and narrow.   Solid and        wave an invitation         
stable and predictable.       in the breeze               
Fifteen     feet     of  Come                             
crumbling      asphalt.     distant rambling fencelines   
Measured  and  aligned.         of fir and sugar maple    
Black and white.     Or                       and birch   
just all gray.  Two fat  	monarchs       dragons        
strips   of  old  white        damsels and bluebottles    
paint crumble too. Stay     olive crimson and rose        
between the lines, away             ochre and orchid      
from     the   slippery  Gaze                             
slope.  Be safe.   Hard     rolling swells                
and grating.    Wearing          of matted grass wash     
down my sole.   Hot and        over humps and lumps       
dry.          I thirst.  	     and hollows of mud       
Machines made this road     lumpy bed    soft and damp    
for machines.  Machines               lie down            
bleed  drops  of  motor  Rest                             
oil and grease  and rub     beside still water            
them in.    A permanent                  drink deeply     
stain.   Winding rivers   who is whispering in the trees? 
of rubbery tar seal the     cicadas buzz    raven yells   
cracks where winter has             mourning dove sighs   
tried  to take the road  Listen                           
apart  and  put  things      slugs and snails             
right again.   Old Ford          and earthworms           
pickup roars by.   Face                 out of sight       
traffic.    Stay at the     gray vole slips quietly       
edge or die.  Roadkill.                 down his tunnel   
Flirt  with  the grass.            in the invisible city  
But don’t kiss.    Just    appearing and disappearing     
glance.  It’s easier to        growing and dying          
walk   on   the   road.  Feel                             
              Hurry up.  Be still                         

One thought on “Edge of the Road”

  1. Amen.

    And yet the illustration is bigger than this… Pastureland is not God’s only invention. It is not his only mood. Think about islands, oceans, deserts, ice bergs, mountain cliffs, plains, volcanoes, caverns, planets… We look for boundaries between these…. They are there, but they resist simple explanation.

    Where exactly does the ocean meet the land? It depends on so many things. Time of day, the wind, the moon, the grains of sand, the child’s sand castle…. Any yet we can say “here”. We lose the truth in the details.

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