Two Million Miles

Retired now, he listens to the wind
blowing dust down his empty road.
At nightfall he retraces his maps’ miles
to when his heart thundered with hope
on still mornings, engine warming
then off, towards mauve mountains
that drew closer from shifting angles
electric air whipping his aerials.

Parked in a flat landscape he worries
over life’s throb on alternative routes
undiscovered, inexplicable events
that his lying logbooks never witnessed.

A sweating arrow bypassing years
rage always just beneath itchy skin
he gunned past valanced hamlets
death-bound along uniform white lines
songs of bad luck & loss repeating.
After divorce he annulled his rig’s name
sulked through multiple gear changes
Detour signs giving his air brakes wind.

The idea of freedom bewilders him.
He lays out his maps in their drawer
sees a black after-image of highways
the silence of all their intersections.

- Ian C Smith