Witness

I drove on moun­tain roads so long that night
the world split off into one dark bend
always slink­ing past my pool of light
and a wisp of me behind the wheel to tend

to what there was to see, which wasn’t much:
the fire­works empo­ri­ums, a sign
here and there—hell is real and such,
cows clumped, trees car­tooned by kudzu vine

until, as in a dream, this: spun
my way, a jeep just flipped, its smashed glass
glint­ing, pas­sen­gers crawl­ing out stunned.
Cicadas writhing up from warm dirt in May,

I thought, and so I slowed then drove on by.
Fine, I tell myself, think­ing back, they were fine.

-Amy Arthur, Birmingham Poetry Review

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