Where are you goin old blacktop road,
windin like a thing possessed
into torturous hairpin curves
with your pockmarked surface,
like the face of an overly zealous,
hormoned schoolboy with no place to hide?
I've seen wild hogs stop to drink rain water
collected in your every pothole and depression.
Dogs would come to sniff the rabbits
and possums that lie bakin in the sun,
after failing to dodge the wheels
of a passing car or truck.
The canines rolled on their backs
in the foul dead smell.
With each passing vehicle,
the vultures flew up to roost
in nearby trees until it was safe
to fly down and resume their meal.
You fed some hungers.
You quenched some thirsts.
You took some folks home
to see mama and and papa and sis.
You ushered some reckless souls
into the presence of their God.......
Our shoes stuck to your meltin surface
in the sun after five days of heat
in the hundreds.
You delivered old women, trained
in birthin babies to the mama's bedside,
where children on the other side
of the bedroom door shivered in fright
at their mama's screams.
You saw all those cows and hogs
carried wide-eyed and unknowing,
to the slaughter house in trailers
and the backs of pickup trucks.
Men and their dogs traveled on your back
down into the river bottoms at night
to hunt raccoons and sit on downed logs,
drinking strong coffee with floatin grounds
and listenin to the music
of barking hounds as they ran game
to ground or tree.
You knew the path to the
Chickasaw County Baptist Church
where country cooks all tried,
at funerals or monthly
dinners on the grounds,
to outdo each other for
the preacher's compliments.
Can you count
the big yellow school buses,
with the seats removed,
piled to their ceilins with
picked cotton that was
headed for the gin.
The new four-lane superhighway
opened a little over a year ago,
with a ribbon cuttin
and the governor doin the cuttin.
Cars and trucks were lined up for miles
just so they could say they'd
been the first to use it;
and drive sixty-five miles an hour.
Here you sit with the trees
growin closer to you everyday
and that thick green blanket of kudzu
coverin you to reach the other side.
Only a few remember
that you're even here.
So, where you goin now
you old worn out, used up
black top road?
I heard it's oblivion.
Someday someone walkin
in these woods
will stumble up on you
and say to themselves,
"Well, looky here,
I wonder where this ol' road went?"
But we know, .....don't we?
Copyright ©2014 Madalyn McKnight Stanford
Available on Amazon: Southern Reflections with a Little Help from My Friends