Speeding north on I-87 any
early autumn afternoon,
you could feel the thip thip thip
of the tar strips tickling
your tires and toes,
if you really paid attention.
But you were more concerned
with what you left behind in that mirror
and with that tossing of red light
rosary beads surrounding you.
The trees to your left and right flash
like a natural zoetrope, animating
an unnoticed world as you pass.
You don’t see the geese lighting
with a sun splash on the Mohawk.
You could never imagine the little girl
sitting alone in that shabby house
you just passed hoping her mom
gets home from work by 10:30.
If you looked to your right,
you might have seen those puppies
that escaped their yard, bumbling
and yipping through the brush
heading for the same roadside that
browsing deer on the opposite side
consider crossing to after sundown.
You just missed it because you wondered
if pizza or chicken waited home for you.
– Joseph Hetch