Friday, December 11, 2020

Red Sentinel

Abandoned in the desert on the side
Of the Extraterrestrial Highway,

Glass intact but with its engine exposed,
Hoodless, to the stars, a red pickup truck

Is watching us. A fighter jet roars low
As a hawk hunting rodents, but the truck

Remains unfazed. A jackrabbit hops out.
Free-range beef cattle graze alongside it,

Nosing for better grass by the culvert.
Occasional passing vehicles slow,

In case the sentinel is a sheriff,
Then accelerate when they see it’s not.

The truck is unfazed. Its emptiness keeps
Watch. Moonlight silvers it. Strong winds shake it,

But, for some unknown reason, no one comes
For parts or tows it away. No one dares

Tag it with graffiti, the way the signs
And the road’s ghost buildings have all been tagged.

No one has bothered to shoot holes in it.
No one has asked anything about it.

This truck is a thing that watches and waits.
You’re not patient enough to see it change.

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