Crossroads

Here I stand at the crossroads of yesterday and tomorrow/not knowing which way to look/not knowing which way to go/car broken out of gas tires slashed engine gutted/sun perched high overhead—no hint of where it rises or sets/rain stained smudged paint signpost falling apart, fallen over/smartly dressed sober strangers hurrying hustling busybodily by going both ways/avoiding my plaintive pleading eyes/earplugs in eyelids closed fangs out fingers crossed/I grab one slap him shake him ask him “Could you tell me where to go?”/he says “Hell if I know”/I yell “Please sir!”/He says “We’re just playing follow the leader”/I cry “Well why are you playing? Who are you following? What are you knowing? Where are you going?”/he says “I’m playing cuz it’s fun and following whoever’s in front. I’ll go where he goes and know what he knows”/I see by holding up this guy I’m holding up the whole line/so let go of his lapel, yell a farewell/shuffle my feet and stare at the ground/when my eyes meet a compass in the world’s lost and found/covered in layers of dust/smothered in layers of rust/whose handmade blade points to my ripped roadmap’s west/I can’t decide which would be best to follow/so throw both away to lighten my load/then try to find my own way/strange that there are so many routes on a two way road/offer a ride to anyone who knows where to drive/everyone runs up pointing different directions/they hold elections for which way to go/but each only votes for his own/so I say “Anyway my car’s broken and can only fit one in the shotgun/and maybe a few in the back”/they say “No matter!” and jump to and fro/four old beer bellied bodybuilders lift it to fix the flat tires/three mercenary ex-mechanics for hire for a fee open the hood and tinker around til the engine runs like it should/two injured runners gun it for the nearest gas station and back in no time flat/one laid off yuppie dials for triple a/and I, the driver, sit and stare as they jumpstart the car/and part without me/fitting four in the seats/the rest getting rides clutching the sides/and I sit all alone/no food or water, car or phone/no idea where to go/stuck at the crossroads of yesterday and tomorrow.

When the tow truck finally pulls up/the driver jumps out and asks “What’s this about?”/I get up look around and say “Well, the car and the people that called are all far gone and out”/he spits a big one and asks “Need anything? Are you alright?”/I say “I’m great, but I could sure use some help getting this signpost setup right and straight.”





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