Waiting to Cross a Busy Road
I am trying to cross a busy road
at a spot with no crosswalk for miles and miles and miles and miles
but someone must have constructed a machine of infinite car generation
way down the road, due north, just past the horizon.
And another such machine due south.
That’s the only explanation
for why the cars just kept coming and
coming and coming and coming and coming and coming and coming and coming and coming and coming and coming and co
nimoc dna gnimoc dna gnimoc dna gnimoc dna gnimoc dna gnimoc dna gnimoc dna gnimoc dna gnimoc dna gnimoc dna gnim
There is another possibility.
People could have constructed roads all over the planet
and hundreds of millions of cars to fill them.
Of course, that would be insane,
a form of mass suicide,
over the short time horizon that is human existence.
The ecosphere couldn’t survive
the snaking, strangling network of roads and super-highways
the foulness spewing from tailpipes
numberless as the stars
Relentless zooming vehicles making road kill of
ants flies beetles spiders snails turtles snakes voles mice rats squirrels chipmunks skunks opossums deer elk wolfs coyotes bear
and occasionally people.
There’s a third possibility.
Maybe the road ends just over the horizon
in each direction
and loops back upon itself
so that a limited number of cars are traveling the same road over and over and over
giving the illusion of infinitude
like an old Hollywood film where the camera pans over the same set of performers
so they seem like massive crowds.
That must be it!
The least implausible explanation.
You might think I’m writing this from the safety of my home
emotion recollected in tranquility.
But it’s scrawled in blood from my finger tips
pricked by thorns from a withered roadside locust tree.
Mowing the Lawn
I come upon a corpse,
a baby bird, almost a fetus still
that likely never felt the thrill
even for an instant.
With a swift sideways kick
I send the sad little thing
into the garden.
It will become fertilizer
housing and feeding
themselves food for
Nature is cruel
nature is kind
nature runs in cycles
nature knows neither kindness nor cruelty.
I cut neat
shrinking squares of wild grass
into tamed pastures
conquering nature once again.
One day I will be
food for maggots
As I end my morning trials, I glimpse
hopping across the fresh cut grass
a baby bird
vibrant with life
ready to fly.
Ethan Goffman’s poems have appeared in BlazeVox, Mad Swirl, MadnessMuse, Ramingo’s Blog, Under the Bleachers and Setu, as well as the anthologies The Music of the Aztecs, Epiphanies and Late Realizations of Love, and Narwhal’s Lament. He is co-founder of It Takes a Community, a Montgomery College initiative that brings poetry to both students and local residents. In addition, Ethan is founder and producer of the Poetry & Planet podcast on EarthTalk.org.
Image by Panek – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 pl, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40958667