Southbound, chasing mirages that ebb
like waves of mercury — a black form blossoms
to the right of the broken center line’s semaphore.
It might have been a skunk or porcupine
before it paid that final toll, but closer, its edges
flare like wingtips poised in a parody of flight,
and so it was perhaps a raven or a crow
whose blasé gait was just a single hop too slow.
But closer still it shows itself instead to be a scrap
of retread, remains of a tire shredded and discarded —
never living, yet no less lifeless — a relic dejected
and framed in my rear view mirror, diminishing.
Too Heavy to Bear
Far too large to lift, it grieved me to leave
behind the soapstone stove that held
my house fast to the hayfield’s edge,
when the storms of December
sought to pry up shake and shingle.
And I had to forsake the bordering pond,
and the gauze of billowing stars affixed
across its face with ranks of cattail spikes.
I found no way to pack the embered
sumac hedge the autumn frost ignited,
its banked colors stirred and brightened
by the twilight to reignite the sun.
In the end, I disowned all those memories,
assembled in bundles too heavy to bear,
box flaps left fluttering in the dooryard
as I cast off that frayed line of driveway.
And I Kissed Them Both, Then Drove to the Office
When our first was born, there was a day of waiting
that swelled beyond hope and worry in the small,
unnumbered hours to an ecstasy where I saw myself
standing beside a hospital bed as whispering nurses
rushed by, pushing machines on chrome casters.
In two years’ time, we had cultivated the mundane,
weeding out both joy and terror, and left that child,
chubby and diapered, to play with his grandparents
on a bright morning while we gathered his little sister.
Pink and punctual, we collected her like a houseguest;
by noon both mother and baby were fine but tired,
the two having rushed to keep their appointment.
Kevin Casey has contributed poems to recent editions of Green Hills Literary Lantern, Hartskill Review, Rust + Moth, San Pedro River Review, and other publications. His new chapbook The Wind Considers Everything was recently published by Flutter Press, and another from Red Dashboard is due out later this year.
He blogs at andwaking.com.