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She Drove On

(A brief overview of the poet’s recent cross-country run)

*****

Recorded Reading: https://www.dropbox.com/s/moe0ono5rk36nb4/she%20drove%20on.mp3?dl=0

She Drove On

The poet turned off her device and left town suddenly, heartbroken not to be able to offer farewell greetings to her new friends here but wise enough to give her likely pursuers as little notice as possible.

She’d already heard them drive up two nights before and click their latest tracker into place. Took about five seconds. Longer than it takes a sixty-three year old disabled woman even to sit up to check it out, unless she wants to dislocate a vertebrae.

But just to make sure, she doubled back. She switched freeways. She ran loop de loops and took back roads. She verified physical nonpursuit. She waited in hiding.

Sure enough.

Her outbound way was decorated ~ no matter what the road, no matter which direction she headed on it ~ with trash. Tons of it. Miles of it. Shredded onto one hundred yards of barbed wire at a stretch. Rubbed into the greenery. Scattered in drifting clouds of sound-creating crushed water bottles. All of it in signature clear-and-white, with little artistic touches of blue.

That’s what an online network can do, in the hands of a  jealous and frustrated wannabe artist.

At most of the services centers to which the poet’s van pulled up, the counter attendant was just putting the phone down as she walked in.

In the remainder she had actually been anticipated, in the manner of stalker/targeters who have taken the trouble to figure out their victim’s likeliest next stop.

In these, mocking bird calls rang out in super loud chorus even as she was driving in, and even customers had received indoctrination in rudeness.

In all cases the poet was challenged on everything from her correct place in line (important to keep so that she might maintain surveillance of her van parked outside) to the correct amount of her fuel refund request (it of course was indeed a correct request).

For the time it took to cover her very indirect route from California’s north coast to New Mexico she slept not more than thirty minutes at a stretch ~ but just across that border, to maintain safety on the road, slumber became necessary.

The story of that awakening and turnaround appears (and can be accessed by search bar) on this site under the title “Her Willing Gift of Peaceful Distance and Silence.”

The poet’s way back was strewn with much less trash.

… And many more dead animals.

All of them also white ~ these with touches of light brown, placed in suggestive postures, and often in locations in which they would be unlikely to find themselves without the adjustment of human hands.

Birds of prey, for example, are rarely if ever known to fly into the windshields of oncoming cars on freeway overpasses. Much less by twos and threes.

Timing being a delicate thing when traveling, it was later in the day than the poet had hoped it would be as she covered the last hundred miles of US highway into a major city, with its bright lights and vigilant casino parking lot security guards, where she planned to sleep next.

Though hesitant to push the twenty year old van which had performed so superbly over those hundreds of miles under every imaginable condition of weather and altitude, instinct prompted her to stay close to other cars for protection.

Not being by any stretch of the imagination a speed bug, especially now that it was fully dark, the poet’s van was at the rear of what seemed to her like a desperately hurtling mass of vehicles ahead when, to the left, her eye was caught by the presence of an animal at the center divider ~ a white, doglike animal with light tan overfur, facing outward toward traffic from in front of a tall and solid center divider fronted on both sides by thick, low, dark bushes.

The creature did not get there by having wanted to come in the poet’s direction and crossing the other side of that freeway to do so ~ it physically couldn’t have.

Now, this poet’s been around animals a little bit in her life ~ and she’s got a certain simpatico, let’s just say that.

It can be found described in such offerings as “Perhaps I Never Will,” about the entirely unmedicated goose who let her cut its wing off without so much as a twitch, to “Tail of the Bear,” about the starving beast who just at hibernation time nipped the poet in play but refused to eat her, even when she bled copiously from that shallow wound.

(This last, for the curious or skeptical, was indeed documented by local journalists in Frisco, Colorado.)

So ~ she knows her critters some, alright?

Now ~ when an animal gets ready to run, and especially to run at speed, what do they do?

They get low. They get those legs bent and ready. They focus real. Hard.

Then they run.

Right?

And ~ if they’ve been smart enough to wait for a whole pack of car lights to go by first, and there’s a huge, open stretch of freeway just behind the last two of those vehicles ~ they’re probably going to wait for that opening.

Right?

Not this animal.

It jumped up.

Straight up, on all four paws.

And then ran immediately and directly across the path of the car to the poet’s left and just behind her, heading straight for the front left bumper edge of her van at its moment of probable arrival.

Now, it’s perfectly true that when trying to read a map, do simple math or not be an unbelievable social dunce, this poet’s not very bright at all and is as likely as not to make a total ludicrous hash out of the whole proceeding.

But in a real emergency she can sometimes be kind of useful to have around.

Seeing that the animal would only just barely ~ if at all ~ clear the near edge of her front bumper, and hoping to give it that milimeter necessary to get in front, followed by a gentle air-assisted curve around its right hand edge ~ after which the creature would be, as we say, home free ~ yet not wishing to collide with that car still coming up on the side, the poet steered ever so slightly leftward.

And it might have worked ~ but we’ll never know, because at that moment that freaked-out creature came to full consciousness of its situation.

It hesitated, just that fraction of a second ~ turned ~ just that partial way to its right ~ to look back.

And hit the poet’s left front bumper so solidly that the resulting splat ~ entirely green in color ~ measured about eight inches in diameter.

There was no chance of survival.

Well aware of the potentials, now blessedly unmanifest, in that scenario ~ of wounded vulnerability to her malevolent pursuers on a remote stretch of highway in the dark hours of night ~ this poet breathed a heartfelt prayer of blessing for the spirit of that poor beast; for all the other animals which had been placed already dead in her homeward path on that journey; of thanksgiving for her own continued safety and that of her protective and transportive vehicle ~ and for the instant and painless death of that innocent creature ~ since, had there been a probability of leaving it behind wounded, the poet’s very likely in spite of everything to have gone back to check on it.

And then she drove on.

*****

Among us, poets are ill paid. In order to continue her work, this one currently lives in her minivan, on an income of a fraction of our nation’s poverty level. If her work has moved, enabled or uplifted you, your contribution to this effort may be made at: https://www.gofundme.com/kx4xka-are-you-a-patron-of-the-arts

*****

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Published by Ana Daksina

Read worldwide half a million times, Ana Daksina is a Troubador of the coming age.

9 thoughts on “She Drove On

    1. Two years of hell, girlfriend. They never quit, 24/7 ~ they’re just being a little quieter about it right now while public awareness is high. At least that means I’m getting some sleep ~ though I can count on being unpleasantly awakened half a day zen times first ~ but that doesn’t mean I can walk away from my van for fun or exercise, leave town safely or even lift my curtains. It’s not, not, not okay.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is why I don’t just call myself an overreacter and walk away from this van when I don’t absolutely have to ~ ever. People all around me have the luxury of pretending nothing’s really happening here. I don’t, and I know it.

        Liked by 1 person

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