As night passes through the crossroads,
houses beside the highway leave trails
of gingerbread work around their eaves,
and I wonder if I should stop and look,
consider how a fancy turned and curled
signified beauty, fashion, or grace,
and here was more than here or there,
a place where the sun gave up its spirit.
On the edge of town, steepled houses
gabled barns, and leaning sheds, stutter
a language lost for a hundred years;
and when the road became a highway
with stoplights flashing red and green,
and cautionary tales revved forward hard,
the last orange glow of daylight wanes
pulling down the church and all its prayers.
Gravestones are faithful to their names
Tablets of a history swallowed by beliefs
among a field of milkweed pods,
where families in the front-row plots
forsook one life to seek another
and lay down in the earth they plowed,
to wait for the Hand to work on them.
The wrongs, the loves, everything they knew.
are lost in an advancing signal green,
and the town of porches in the rear-view
vanishes in a flock of chevroned geese.