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Strange Caravan

by Barrett Warner

    We were like two cars
    passing in the night.
    You followed my brakes,
    then I yours.

    Then you stopped
    for a bag of corn chips
    and six dollars of Texaco
    and I kept going.

    A little later
    I pulled off the road
    and saw you slow,
    take your eyes away from traffic,
    then speed up.

    I was waving at you.

    In Bristol I found
    a truckstop in Virginia
    and you, a diner in Tennessee

    but it was like we ordered
    off the same menu,
    ate the same
    biscuits and gravy and pie,
    bought the same jukebox song
    with different quarters,
    danced in our minds
    holding our elbows alike.

    Still trading headlights,
    weary, no more laughter,
    we got lost in the Smokeys.

    How odd to find you
    five years down the road
    hitch-hiking in the desert
    going back east against my west
    both our thumbs
    shaking at blind drivers,
    the yellow painted lane dividers
    peeled, cracking, turned up
    like molting side winders,

    the rings on our fingers
    like we married each other
    and not some stranger.

    What happened Sara?
    Where did we go wrong?


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