Dog Highway

That highway still fights north

its semis and sedans. Seasons flash.

I age. The dog ran because it was a fool

toward the highway, and I called its name

against the rush, until it stopped,

and sat, on the shoulder’s dust,

the way my friend the hunter did not

stop climbing hills into state forest shadow

beside a different highway.

What did he find? Sunrise over a peak,

a browsing elk, a sparrow’s beak,

an ant’s crawl?

I lent a student a book last week,

and she found his Missoulian obit,

phlegm-yellow. Letting her

keep the book, I pocketed the news

and it went through the wash,

like most memory. Now

I walk around tame city blocks,

dog on leash, and I say the hunter’s name:

Todd. The dog is Lefty. I’m Ed.

And your role? You’re yourself,

fighting ahead past this moment

highway impatient and blind.