Along the Way

Three cormorants,
lean, licorice decanters
balanced on the rusted roof of
a nineteen-thirteen Model T truck.

A nine-acre motorcar bone-yard,
seven thousand crumpled, crushed, corroded, carcasses
indecently exposed through toothless gaps
in a Lady-Bird-Johnson board fence.

A fat man
in bib-overalls and straw hat,
gripping the wheel of a squat, red, fifty-one Ford pickup
with gunny-sacks of wheat,
chased down a gravel road by a set-stream of dust.
On the grain sacks, a smiling merle mongrel,
her ears blow back like little banners.

Six young Mexican men
loitering around a sunburned, sixty-five Barracuda
on the side of the highway.
The hood is up.
Blue-green liquid streams down the asphalt.

A bearded kid
in a black, seventy-three Fury
with one brown door, open sun roof,
and dented fenders.

A gray-haired man,
with a pomegranate nose and Greek fisherman’s cap
driving a cream and tan, eighty-six Minnie Winnie.
A stern matron with chocolate poodle curls and pastel sweater
studies a road map.

In a Rest Area,
a powder-blue, eighty-nine Ranger
and matching over-size camper.
Through a window behind a sink,
a Lemon Joy detergent bottle, plastic orange scouring pad.
Buff wallpaper with brown wine jugs and baskets of bread.

A sixteen-year-old blond
sporting a ponytail
in a two-door, red, ninety-one Mustang with a white vinyl top.
At a stop light her lips move.

A sever young woman
with a slim nose, deep-set eyes, and straight raven-black hair,
controlling a gray and maroon, ninety-three Trans Sport,
a wailing baby in a mauve infant’s seat,
four, silent youngsters, anchored with black shoulder belts.

A lean, sun-tanned man
in a three-piece business suit,
aiming a forest-green Jaguar XJ12 with temporary tags
down the freeway twenty-five miles an hour over the speed limit,
talking on a cell-phone,
gesticulating.

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