Roadside Assistance


If you find yourself riding
in the early part of night,
just above the speed limit
between this place and that,
seated in the back, a starry
blur of a roadside crew,
reflective vests protecting them
from cars speeding past,
do this: close your eyes.
Don’t worry what’s happening
in the front seat. Forget all that
for now. Ignore the need to speak.
Instead, clench your fists, grip
your toes, then relax when
the vehicle stops for gas and
the driver, you, or someone else
takes a piss. Get out. Step onto
the blacktop and feel the weight
of your body pressing your feet.
Walk around. Take a minute. No,
take two. Look how everything glows.
No matter what’s happening or what
the weather’s like or what noise fills
the space at this stop that could be
anywhere on an American highway,
take it all in and say this one thing
to nobody in particular: thank you.

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