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A Rest Stop near Rochester

Buzzards are returning to the hard shoulder.
       The strapped State is letting nature handle
the road kill we encounter heading south—
       skunk, deer, raccoon, wild turkey, no badger.

We read 'A Blessing', cast in resin, blessing all
       whose absences are perfectly preserved
by a caretaker making circles with a cloth,
       moving from one picnic station to the next,

a Zen master in overalls observing
       his silence in this temple of departure.
Before belting up to hit the road again,
       in restrooms kept so clean it is as if

nobody ever stopped to pass water here,
       we leave no trace and dry our hands with air.

                                                     April 2016

Tom French

The Last Straw
The Gallery Press

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