We stood together
tips of toes just touching
covering the Burgess & Niple medallion
which I think marks where aliens
landed that night back in the winter of 1960
but you said it was just a surveyor’s marker
flush in the macadam of the Trace.
Grandaddy’s red pickup truck, forlorn
sits abandoned on the verge.
With mints clinched between our teeth we
sip Fireball whiskey – we heard it will fizzle and burn
and maybe give us a new high
as if we need one after the day we just had.
Eyes raised to the sky, we wait for a flash
a streak, a blaze across the sky.
When that happens it will be our signal to write our names
on the pavement in yellow crayon
then climb back into the truck cab
bump along down the road,
back to Natchez.
This story poem was inspired by Andra Watkins Tumblr pictorial of her day along the Natchez Trace. The images above belong to Andra Watkins and link to her Tumblr. Follow Andra’s journey to walk every one of the 444 miles of the Natchez Trace just as her character’s do in her epic novel, To Live Forever An Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis.
For another found object poem, please read Song of the Moon.