Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Driving by Braille

Driving by Braille

The CB crackles as a voice pipes through on the airwaves
“teenage girl”… “Mercedes”… “the makeup applicator went straight through her eye”…
shards of information filter through like brewing coffee

broken fragments piece themselves together, a puzzle
Percolating, drip by drip. She probably spent her mornings
flipping through the funnies, pausing at the classifieds

Straight, single, responsible mother in her early forties
Seeking someone to spend lazy Saturdays with
Enjoys bottles of raspberry ice wine

Hands clench the steering wheel, white-
knuckled and smoke stained, flipping stubs of cigarettes
onto the highway. You would have given it all up for them.

There could have been a little girl, all bright
eyed, bouncing curls, pudgy fingers, skinned knees
the television blaring the food network which

your wife would claim is the word of God himself
“Alton Brown, now that’s a man I would run away with”
she would sigh, and you would have laughed, while your

Fingers hold a chipped ceramic mug instead of a steering wheel,
a Cigarette. The road stretches forward, a treadmill to Ohio,
and you drive by the Braille of the road, rumble strips pointing the way

Lids hanging low, drooping like sun smothered plants
and there is no TV, no little girl, no loving wife
but at least you drive an 18-wheeler instead of a Mercedes

Thank God for small favors.

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