The tree has just begun to wilt
Three days now since the wreck down the road,
three days since the ambulance, the aid car,
the police and helicopter, three days since the skid
marks were lain down, since the shattered pine
was pulled to the back of the grassy verge, and today
a different set of cars plays out along the roadside.
Two men, middle-aged, stand beside an Oldsmobile as if
in conversation, but they do not talk. Neither smokes,
but one glances nervously back along the blacktop.
By a Jeep, a young woman talks on a cell phone, her
arms waving an explanation. A bearded man leans
against a Mustang, tired, a cigarette dangling limply
in his hand. He is far away and doesn’t seem to notice
my car passing. None do. And at the edge of the road
at the end of the skid marks, two women, a mother
and her sister, I’d guess, sift through the gravel
with their fingers, inspecting each piece, searching
for that lost thing that won’t be found.