Friday, December 15, 2006

Fate 1 Mile (In Memoriam)

Fate 1 Mile
by Tony Clark
(Nov. 15, 1936 - Dec. 15, 2005)

The concrete fails along Interstate 30
In the blacklands between Dallas and Greenville
Where a standard emerald highway sign
Suggests a seam in the scheme of things.
The sign rises innocently enough
Out of sunflowers and roadside scrabble:
It's no different from those that chart
The exits to such palpable towns
As Royse City, Mesquite and Rockwall --
Yet its legend blurs the edges of the real
With pale block letters:

How often, leaving or returning home,
I've felt an urge to take that turn,
To curve headlong into beckoning destiny
So near at hand. But up to now
I've held the wheel straight,
Roared on past the critical ramp,
Always deciding in the last inch of time
That the transit is not mine to make --
That fate must wait at some unmarked crossroad
And close with me like sudden thunder.

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