Missed

3.22.03 and back ups 848

Twenty miles from nowhere
On a desert autumn road
It caught my eye
Drove another mile
And turned around
To look again
And wonder

 

Mile Marker 20

Vieja rattles truck
Worn loose and wrinkled
Pickup and woman
Two alike
Too alike.

Youngest son of 20
Sullen, pockmarked
Central Avenue of Duke
Comes around to steal her change
And vanish.

Middle daughter
Just 20 miles away
Her man hates
No calls, no visits
No joy smile of grandson
Nothing

Man dead
These 20 years
Whiskey mind rocketed
Car rocketed
Life rocketed
Into concrete
Just over there.

Oldest son locked away
Seven years of twenty
In Las Lunas
Today she visits
Carton of smokes
And twenty bucks
Saved hard
To ease his gone.

Flash inside her head
Inside the years
Inside the cab
Brakes
Wheel wrenched right
Fingers locked white
Stalks circles
Three times around the truck
Eyes down
Sees nothing

Tin, tape, a marking pen
A steel post cry
To everything that wasn’t.

MISSED

From Poems of the New Old West

Copyright 2002, Jack Purcell

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s