by Larry Schug
faded to dull pastels
by sun and wind-blown sand,
mark places of accidental death,
the result of inattention, alcohol, speed
along two-lane highways in border states,
Texas, New Mexico, Arizona,
into Colorado and Kansas.
Like habitats and planting zones
trying to outrun a changing climate,
these memorials of make-believe flowers
have migrated north
like Mexican workers into Minnesota,
appearing after the snow melts.
How fast would you drive
to get to a bar for some relief,
or home to your family,
a change of clothes, a shower, sleep,
after working the midnight shift
cutting the heads and feet off chickens
so someday your children
will not be strangers in this land,
be allowed to live with dignity,
not be buried alone beneath the snow?