Kentucky Roads

Kentucky roads ambush one another,
around oak-cluttered, cedar-posted curves,
headlong fighting, brother against brother,
as your car dips down vales, winds up hills, swerves
around and down, uphill and corkscrewing,
the roads colliding, tamer roads ending
in perpendicular paths, forks skewing
as if led by goats, drunken and wending;
as if planned by the Hatfields and McCoys,
neither knowing much about pathfinding,
except for feuds, grievances and their ploys
to destroy the other, their wrath blinding,
blinding like the blind hills through Kentucky,
startling even the locals with their twists,
with their turns, the morning drivers lucky
to avoid deer in the deceptive mists.
But there is beauty amidst the dangers
and beauty born from the dangers, likewise,
the roads like those mysterious strangers
given to mood-swings, those who dive and rise
in such quiet, unassuming stretches
that surprise, like secret boozers abed
who drink themselves crazy, the sad wretches
hidden away in hollows, each booze-head
rousing at once with a start, with a heart
palpitating in staccato, offbeat,
off the beaten path, or lounging apart,
a crumbling road far from maintained Main Street.
And there are snatches of flowers afield,
wild-flower peripheries, the speckling
of confused colors while the old road yields
to green sprawls, winds in tall grasses heckling,
jeering the roads on in manic delight,
daring their frolicks, their serpentine ire,
threading the Bluegrass with an asphalt bite
that kills bikers, motorists, tricks a tire
to slide and drift on the loose gravel bits
washed from driveways when rain falls like a tide,
and the railless bluffs, the potholes and pits
that buck cars and throw them to the wayside.

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