Earlier this year, on my morning to commute from Traverse City to Interlochen, specifically on 31 heading west of the ill-named Chums Corner, a red pickup capped with a yellow flasher parked on the side of the road had emitted its driver. Apparently his job was to shovel the carcasses of those animals who didn’t make the crossing into the bed. It reminded me how fortunate I was not to have that job.
The commute provides many glimpses into the lives of others, more typically as they speed by, six feet away from a head-on collision, projecting a two-second scene from their lives: the coffee drinker, the fast-food eater, the cell-phone talker, the sing-alonger, the arguers, the smoker, the emotionless mirrored-sunglass wearer who may or may not be staring you down. It is a strangely public but private place of transport.
We had a heck of a time finding a photo to pair with this poem and it was the last of the book to fall, finally, into place, as Dave recounts here:
This poem bugged me. I had a vision in my mind of what I wanted, which failed to materialize in my distinctly nascent amateur efforts. After taking several that as a group we rejected for one reason or another, this poem was one of the last to have a “decided upon” photo. We had our self-imposed, yet very real, deadline approaching and Roger had directed “We just need a shot of a road.” So on my way into work the next morning I stopped halfway up a stretch of road I have affectionately named “the tangle” due to its hilly twisty ability to give me pause in the middle of the dark snowy winters here. I liked the look of the newly surfaced road (notice they hadn’t even painted the lane lines yet) and the sultry sky to the north. Andy, Roger and Michael liked it well enough too, just in time to go to press.