Runcible Spoon

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Back Roads


How easy it is to raise my eyes when the windows fog over with mist.

How easy to curl up on the floor.

I have a blanket soft as spring wind, woven in a rainbow plaid.

I have a pillow made of leaves.

How easy to slip into a dream, to wander these back roads again.

I pass the white house just up the hill, nestled in pines and birch.

Again the black dogs bark. They rush out toward the road.

A woman calls them back – “Down Demon, down Bowstring!”

She smacks them hard with her naked hand.

They whimper and cringe. She glares at me as I pass.

She doesn’t speak. I want to wave, break the bad rhythm going here.

She’s been planting something in the yard. She wipes her hands

on her jeans, turns back to the house. There’s a flurry of leaves,

the ground rumbles beneath my feet. My legs have turned to sand.

The sky erupts in flame, smoke clouds spreading beyond the hills.