Prairie Poetry   
  Morning Survey

Before hurried pickups blow by
On this one-lane country road
Shaking damp grass, churning up dust
I wander
Surveying the casualties from last night’s
Heavy traffic
Two toads and a shrew
Now ironed to the asphalt
Like patches on torn black denim
A young opossum careless at the crossroad
Of cottonwood and alfalfa field
Jigsaw puzzle bits of junebugs
A brown water snake that stretched too far
From the moon-cooled creek
Countless dead and quadriplegic moths
And mayflies lured by headlamps
Into the scorching grillwork of night.

Here in daylight where crows chase owls
And blackbirds harass crows
Where farm-dog time speeds pedestrians along
From cool sip of shade to stern sun,
I pause and weigh this body count
Of fur, feather, scale, and chitin,
Soldiers drafted by death while we dreamt,
Happy this early morning
To have made one more safe crossing.

  William Carroll
  Copyright © 2005 William Carroll
  Author Index | Biographies | Support Prairie Poetry | Month Index | Year Index | Guestbook | Home