This Far Country Road

When last I trod this far country highway,
in summer's mosquito heat, the deer flies
chomping at the bit(e) amid a world
of green blood pulsing through the heart of things
and golden apples vying to be declared
the most tart, it lay encircled practically
tail in mouth on shimmering asphalt.
Holding itself together on the roadside.
A mirage of silver and brown scales,
proud of its tubular dimensions,
a portrait of stillness like a series
of chevrons laid out in the noonday sun.

And now, the winds scouring the earth clean
in a swirl of leaves and plastic bottles,
the sun so low on the horizon one
wonders how it can rise again, and only
the rattle of loose windows left to mimic
a natural sound, the hope stirs in a cold chest
that last summer’s mirage is found snug
in its burrow, pulsing with warm dreams.
And that, come the tickle of melting snow,
it will once more rise, make its way towards
that man-made surface and enfold itself
in an effort to embrace the world as one.

Pleased with myself for such a conceit,
and preparing for even loftier ones,
only then do I notice the swerve
of remnant tire marks. And, at my feet,
the circular imprint in the macadam.

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