Monday, January 24, 2011

Outside the Fence

I drive through Byars, Oklahoma
Every day,
on my way to work.
The back roads are the fastest
unless you get behind farmer Dan.

I slow to 35,
glide past Gigi's grocery store and bar/restaurant.
Note the red dirt on the side of the road,
and play my favorite game.

What's outside of the fence today?

The dogs, laying in the street, catch rays
of sun that just don't feel the same from the safety of the porch.
And a bald-face calf, lowing for his mamma,
sprints up Main street on his way to nowhere.

One day a horse was out, with two ponies and a donkey
(My friend Greg says that whenever they would pass a donkey, his children would roll down the windows and holler "You ass!"),
not doing much, just seeing what was on the other side and if the grass was greener.

Once I saw a deer hung up on the porch,
tongue lolling, eyes dark,
lifeless and ready to become dinner.
I shuddered as I passed, crossed myself
(I'm not Catholic but it seemed an appropriate gesture)
and thought of small town horror movies.

I hit a bump and realize that I am past the town,
out with the roadrunners and armadillos
and sometimes the sly red dirt fox drifting through at sunrise,
Pull the wheel to make the curve
like a demented Speedracer on the track,
hoping I don't crash and bite my tongue.

I speed on for another day and hope
that when I come back
that only living things will greet me.

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