The roadside flagman nods as I pass,
tells me my wait has just begun.
I count slow turns of the tires
on the semi beside me. A thresher
going nowhere, rows of dried corn
before it, turns in a nearby field to pass
corrugated columns, steel silos
that bear witness to our parade to nowhere.

Its dust cloud approaches, stalls
over stalled traffic, then moves on.
A space appears before my car,
revealing pavement marked in red,
the only warning I receive before I move
slowly past the remains of a deer that tried
to cross this highway at the wrong time.

It could have been weaving its way
between the cars and trucks around me
in traffic that’s barely creeping.
A small car sits just off the road,
its shattered windshield witness to the scene.

A spaniel leans from a car window,
hoping for a breeze to materialize.
When we finally reach normal speed,
I glance across the median to see rubberneckers
who get to enjoy the delay I leave behind.

Medical appointments next week mean that my trip to Buffalo has to be a quick six days, with two days driving each way. As usually happens, the road has gotten my poetic juices flowing.

12 thoughts on “Rubberneckers

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