A raccoon squashed on the New York State Thruway, going west.
It’s bright pink against black asphalt.
Everyone is trying not to run over it again,
Swerving even, to miss it.
Today the raccoon.
Yesterday the cat, dog, squirrel, skunk, opossum, deer.
Endlessly crossing the highway while we try to get somewhere.
Who’s fault really?
There are always more animals.
I heard once that the reason so many skunks lose their lives on the road is because
They have no natural predators.
They start crossing, see a monstrous growling metal animal hurtling toward them,
And they simply stop, turn around, stick up their tails, and aim.
We avoid the messes.
It’s a fact of life for the animals.
What’s one more cat, dog, squirrel, skunk, opossum, deer?
Yet, there’s keening and confusion in the dens and nests.
Junior had only wanted to see what was on the other side.
It was his time to leave the soft needle-lined safety of home.
While we drive around the mess of his mother’s brother,
Eyes closed momentarily to the bright pink death,
Wondering whose job it is to clean that up.


3 thoughts on “Fresh

  1. It’s a world of death, both natural and unnatural. This seems particularly unnatural, but then I read more news about what’s happening in Syria.

  2. Isn’t it interesting how this instance can seem so unnatural, seen through this form…versus seen through my windshield when I’m hurtling down the highway at 70 miles per hour? It was that word — fresh — that popped into my head at the time. Every time we meet it, death seems so fresh, raw. But it is THE fact of life. Bright pink on the road.

  3. Liked your poem and your choice of “fresh” in describing death is so true. Death never seems old or forgotten. Its fresh when you come upon it accidentally and when you have to relive it. It made me think.

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