Todd Williams

Lost Highways


Old highways rarely die;
they rise at the edge of farmers’ fields
unexpectedly, broken and incomplete
with stripes faded by summer suns
and no signs to point the way.
 
Here, where stinkweed and spurge
take their quarter from the world
of men, crickets and grasshoppers
sing of good fortune, victors
in some unseen war on the future.
 
Mostly, though, they aren’t missed,
lost to the muddle of memories
of those who no longer drive
or are driven to forge new connections
from one downtown to the next.
 
Now, it’s only when lost or searching
the distance from back seat windows
on freeways that we spy splintered
pavement and sepia-tinged bridges
forged in the time of our grandfathers.
 
But they offer no passage to our past,
blocked by barriers natural and man-made.
We instead follow them in present parallel,
never realizing it wasn’t the path
that brought us here; it was the drive.




Todd Williams is a former journalist who worked at newspapers in South Dakota and Montana for over 25 years. He currently lives and works in the Middle East and writes poetry in his spare time. He has been published in editions of Pasque Petals (S.D. State Poetry Society magazine), the book South Dakota in Poems, and the online site The Dewdrop.

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