Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Letter From the Dead On the Side of the Road

Do you even see the damage you cause?
Open your eyes!
Look at your highways
They are littered
with the broken shells of our homes
with our torn and twisted bodies
Asphalt painted
red with our spilled blood

Your glass and metal armor
turns us to fragments
fur, feathers, bone
Years of nurture and struggle
rubbed out
in a kiss with a radial tire

Look at us!
Can you bear it?
Will you say a prayer
for the Dead?
Do you even notice the ghosts
riding on your hood
scratching at your windows
pecking at your eyes?

(Saw yet another dead box turtle on the road today-it had gotten hit by a car. The road wasn't even a busy one; why can't people just pay attention and slow down?!!)

submitted for Theme Thursday, Eyes
and Poetry Jam, Letters


ॐ Micael Chadwick said...

Reading this, I initially thought you were writing about the hurricane still wreaking havoc on the South. I guess that is what is so great about art - as yours always is: it speaks to so many different perceptions.

Margaret said...

My daughter and I stopped once and held our breath as cars zoomed by and we waited for a lull and ran to the center of the road to rescue a turtle. We had done it time and again before.

It ended up being a base ball mit. ha ha

Brian Miller said...

ugh lots of road kill out there....used to always be some by where i stopped people as a cop...def did not help their case...its pretty sad though....we cut up their normal walkways with our roads and then...

Susan said...

"in a kiss with a radial tire"
. . .
"Do you even notice the ghosts
riding on your hood
scratching at your windows
pecking at your eyes?"

Wow! Speak for those with no voice, speak strong and bravely, great!

Pearl said...

Ohhh. :-(

I risked my life once to save a snapping turtle. Hmmm. Wonder if I've written about that yet...


Mary said...

Oh, this just breaks my heart to think of all of these turtles so thoughtlessly and carelessly destroyed. You wrote so vividly I could feel for these turtles (and all who love them) deeply!

daydreamerdreams said...

Powerful piece!

Mary Ann Potter said...

I will stop the car and move a turtle if it's safe. Out here in the country it usually is. Such an awful thing to see the dead ones. Your poem is so well done.

Heaven said...

Its sad to see those dead animals on the road, splattered and twisted ~

I think we should slow down and watch out for them ~

Helen said...

Mouse ... only you could have written this! Wonderful.

Green Speck said...

It's really sad when people drive carelessly ... every life is worth living !!!

Kris said...


She Writes said...

My mind goes to war. I know it isn't where you went, but mine had to go there. I like pieces that can do this.

Mrsupole said...

My hubby once hit a dog that was thrown in front of his truck by the vehicle in front of his. We stopped and got out moved the dog as far away from traffic as he let us. We called the city dog patrol and they said they would be out there when they could get there. I had to direct the traffic so no one else would hit the dog. Two hours later no one had come, the owner refused to come get their dog, another hour later the police showed up and made us leave because it was against the law for me to direct traffic. Funny how everyone obeyed. We never found out what happened to the dog but I like to think it was saved but know it was put to sleep. Those were some sucky owners. Not a lot of road kill on the road here, just a cat or dog every once in a while.

Great poem writing it from their point of view, love the haunting line and they totally deserve to be haunted.

Great take on this weeks Theme Thursday.

God bless.

darev2005 said...

Call me an old softie.
But that gets to me, too.

beccagivens said...

It saddens my heart each time I see an animal whose demise was obviously the result of a vehicle. Nighttime driving is the worse for them, especially when they dart out into traffic. I always say a prayer as I pass animals who are on the side of the road -- and I tell them "go back home" or "move far away".

Powerful imagery -- ghosts riding on your hood!!

Theme Thursday - Windows to my Soul

Ritva said...

You read my mind but said it better than I ever could.

Peggy said...

I often think of this and it makes me so sad. The title by the way was a real grabber.

Dave King said...

Spot on. Like the approach. Cleverly and convincingly done.

Dulcina said...

Your moving poem should be written on the side of every highway.
Very powerful and haunting, from the dead! You need a sixth sense to see them...