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Poem: Road Kill 

Its autumn, the leaves are changing
and we’re traveling east on Route 212.
Good friends accompany us,
guys up front, gals in back.

The plan, a quick meal at Fez,
an average Middle Eastern restaurant,
take in a few sights, shops, the bookstore,
before the poetry reading in town.

The girls, old friends from high school,
catch up, Tommy is working the radio.
Ahead the asphalt shoulder is littered
with roadkill. I see only dead Vietnamese—

road meat, different stages of decomposition.
An older man, blackened sunken face,
his arms frozen in a ungainly pose. Another,
a young woman, a fresh kill, her conical hat

blowing down the road. I want to turn around
but can’t. In the rearview mirror, as we enter
Saugerties, a few arise. They help each other
gather their belongings, and one starts to plant rice.

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  • A poem by Dayl Wise.


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