Highway Memorial

by Peggy McFarland

Rerouted water creates a clear corridor. Commuters speed by, as do others on their way to dentist appointments or grocery stores or spinning classes or wherever. Maybe they notice where the pillowed sky merges with the distant wavering black; or the sunlight glints bouncing off informative green or brown or blue signs; or the lifeless fur breaching the solid white line. Maybe they insulate themselves from exhaust fumes and blurred colors by sniffing jar-candle cut-outs, or listening to Jake & Stinton's Morning ear detritus; or peek at a seat mate's animated gestures; or sip an eleven-syllable beverage that burns fingertips more than it burns the tongue. Maybe, by a sidelong look for an exit confirmation and a facetious hallelujah for the added lanes, they see the remnants. Skeletal trunks with splintered limbs and twig claws, stripped but for a shred of bark, stranded by the swamp, reed skirts camouflaging waterlogged roots, stuck in agony's pose until rot allows them to crumble; traffic fatalities unmarked by devoted white crosses.


Peggy McFarland's work can be read at Absent Willow Review, FlashShot, and WordSlaw, and upcoming pieces will appear at Long Story Short and Sonar 4 E-Zine. Her full 6S catalog is here.