A new kitchen island
rides in the cargo space of my PT Cruiser.
Itís already assembled,
safe in the marine-blue retro interior.
Iím heading home on slippery roads.
A kitchen island I thought a good idea,
might not be but I donít care.
A rolling appliance it Ďtis,
could slip away out my hatchback,
lurch off and float out to sea.
I drive down Route 1 in the chilly sun,
picturing the towel bar
where I will hang plaid dishtowels
and clever utensils ready to cook a pot roast.
I slow down, Route 1 no longer in the sun
just me and my island
remembering another Route 1 in Maine.
Mist gathers fast ahead of my car.
Those white outs you hear about?
Well, I canít see five feet ahead of me.
Not tense, I navigate icy curves in the canyon
not yet sanded. If I slip in the ditch, so what?
Thatís the way itís meant to be.
Squinting, I make out a herd of cattle
crossing the highway dead ahead.
My Cruiser waits with flashers on ...
Some of the cows, dumb as a box of rocks,
slip on one knee, canít stand up again.
With no one to help them up they flounder.
Instead of passing through the gate,
one by one they turn a few at a time
heading back where they came from.
The two ranchers donít look surprised,
their fur hoods against the wind,
riding their 4-wheelers.
Typical modern Montana cattle drive.
Typical cow behavior.