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if you thumb around for a while
you see everything in motion
just like the old beggar promised

still your body craves
sneaky little things that don’t matter 
like a spoon your thumb polishes or
a transparent green toothbrush
sawed short for some idea of decimal weight
a Salvation Army wool shirt & naturally a knife
mine’s a dull Henckel
without stainless serrates

when you climb in a big truck
you find the same thing
in black leather & back-lit airplane dials
CB static / pinups & pictures of the kids
sometimes a laminated speeding ticket on a visor
state cop authenticated:
overloaded flying flatland America at 104
tape deck backup for when the road skips the CD
the fuzz buster eye doesn’t blink
but what’s the use with Sputnik scanning your drive
maybe a house plant on the dash
(a little panache to take ivy for a ride)
cell phone home to put the kids in bed
a good ol’ dog waiting on the floorboard
to hear what life’s all about
ripped magazines & loose Rolaids
Dolly Parton & Dwight Yoakam
whine below the truck roar

the freeway is gnat spattered
wipers make a glass smear 
how to get ahead of the weather?

squeeze between the pickets
while you’re still skinny
because when you pull up
there’s a driveway to hose & neckties
& computers & soccer balls to buy
in a minivan life
where you make short runs &
sort through life for the garage sale
on the weekend


          Next poem from Watermelon Mountain: Snow