Turn Left at Nowhere

In a place that’s maybe not

quite in the middle of nowhere

but isn’t exactly near anywhere either,

a shaggy-haired septuagenarian

with a handicapped sticker

on his well used car from the square years,

a cigarette in one hand, and a cell phone

in the other sits holding up traffic

for a long time at the four-way stop,

as if carefully considering which route

to take, though from my perspective

behind him, the three possibilities

look exactly alike.

Finally, not because he succumbs

to pressure (oddly no one even honks),

but just because he is ready, he

turns left, putting down neither

his cigarette nor his phone, so that

it’s not clear how, or whether,

he is steering. Nevertheless,

I turn and follow him because

I think he must know something

I don’t, guided by an intricate

system of smoke signals, or

by an alien voice in his ear.

Copyright 2015

T. Allen Culpepper

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