Under A Quarter

I waited until the gage was under

a quarter tank before I stopped to fill up –

dust partially covering the “E” – and

I watched the numbers rise until full.

Stale coffee and past- sale date cookies

are my companions on these back roads

With the windows down; cloudy gravel

in my rear-view. Nick Cave tells me

people just ain’t no good and I have to agree

I wonder where your car is and if you’re in it

as a passenger or driver; I’d prefer you under it –

For that’s what happens to your worldview

when your world gets cut to pieces and left

to rot in late summer sun as you drive these

back roads hoping for a head on collision

Now, that might not be politically correct,

but there is nothing political or correct about

this poem, or about a life that has ended

another life with a few choice words

And now those words compete with all

the other words people say at a time

like this; I throw them all out the window,

along with the cookies and coffee, left to rot

roadside in the hot summer sun



Cathy Porter’s poetry has appeared in Plainsongs, California Quarterly, Homestead Review, Abbey, and other journals. She has two chapbooks available from Finishing Line Press: A Life In The Day, and Dust And Angels. She lives in Omaha, NE and can be reached at clcon@q.com