I wrote this a while back. Today seems like a good day to post it for some reason--perhaps because this time of year makes us feel reflective?
The old road
used to travel between the houses on the hill—
looks like a lane now, a forgotten path,
buried under lawns and driveways.
Its faint trace--
just there, by that tree, do you see
the sunken track with the fences
lining its sides with straight wire lines?
You’d need to know how it was
to see it now—
You’d need to remember
how the wagons lined up to get into town
on market days, filled with cattle or corn
or maybe just a family
all dressed up
looking for excitement
on the streets of a small country town,
Saturday morning before the banks closed
and all the stores and the courthouse
were still open.
Men on Carson’s Corner,
wearing faded bib overalls,
tobacco juice flowing rich
in dusty churning air
while kids ran after the wagons
fading into time,
leaving only the memory of a road--
all the noise and bustle gone,
replaced by cars
with air conditioners and closed windows
traffic lights and signs
that point the way
to what once was.
The shadowy trace is now seen only
by those who still remember
where the old road was.