It’s 9:30. My car and another
in the parking lot. Someone
with a cell phone on, that light
not reaching that face. One, two
cars on the street. The stop lights
and their dogged rhythm and my
obedience to them when the sign
No Turn On Red means nothing.
I wait for the green light. The near
empty road out of town,
the lights receding in the rearview
mirrors and one Amish
buggy going my way I slow down
to pass. Then turn off onto an unmarked
road with fields of corn and soy beans
and woods at the edge of the road
watching for deer and bear.
My lights strike one of those yellow
signs with the symbol of a curve
and the bright reflection blinding me
for a second or two as I hold the steering wheel,
feel the tires on the road, remember where
I am until the blindness passes.
I am struck by that moment of faith I
had to take. Disconcerted trying to
recall how many times I’ve had
to hold on not seeing where I was
going yet not driving off the road,
the one in front of me,
the one inside me, the one taking me home.
hootism: Words last a long time, beyond a lifetime. It would be good if we learned how to value them better.