The Road I See

Dan Johnson

for Henry Taylor

A man who worked on a silo once
Lost himself and fell the whole way

Landing feet first in the light rain
Starting then. He was not alone,

He lived, and I've seen him since—walking
And driving a car. And I see his friends

Lifting him with tenderness, and a certain
Workmanlike resolve, into the bed

Of a pickup for the ride to Leesburg
15 miles off. I see him make his slow way

Up the steps to Meeting, wearing his new
Dark suit Sunday after Sunday,

And Henry's father's rusted truck
junked in the 50s in a gully

Near the railroad embankment:
The block consumed by a nest

Of brush, weed-choked, and vines
Reaching through the blank sockets

Of the dashboard, ignition wires dribbling
loose, and perhaps this same pickup

Easing forward one day years before
With the rain, a man sitting upright

Squinting through the flyspecked windshield
To find whatever smoothness there was

Left in that road, turning out
Past all the neighboring farms.



 

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