Monday, October 19, 2009

Hopi Country 1981

I had a two hundred dollar
seventy three Toyota Corona
faded pastel yellow
sanded rust spot
and primer grey.

I headed south in April
from Washington State
to Grand Canyon.
Cold giving way grudgingly
to desert warmth around
Kanab, Utah.

I cut east through Glen Canyon
rolled into Page, Arizona
ready for a cold beer.

Time on my hands
I chose southeast over south,
heading toward Canyon De Chelly.

North of Ganado,
a noise from the engine
grew slowly louder;
a little more oil,
a few more beers
took care of that.

West on State Hiway 264
across Kearns Canyon
First and Second Mesas
headed for Tuba City.

Somewhere in the middle
the engine sound swelled
to crescendo; steel shards
in a clothes dryer;
screams of overheated,
under lubricated metal
thrown in for good measure.

Between Hotevilla –Bacavi
and Monekopi, I coasted
to a stop
dead in the water
miles from anywhere
on a road that knew
about one car an hour.

A trucker stopped first
and allowed that he was
a pretty good mechanic.
I turned it over and
he smiled grimly, saying,
“Brother, you’re well and truly fucked.”

Next came a traveling salesman
who didn’t like my ragged look;
he left promising
to call my boss at the south rim,
but never did.

I sat on a sleeping pad
admired the rocks
listened to the wind
smelled sage,
mountain mahogany
and dry soil.
Next to me sat
a bottle of wine
and a .22 pistol.

Pulling the cork
with a knotted shoelace
I took a long pull,
stood, racked the .22 and
channeling Bill Mauldin
covered my eyes
and shot the Toyota twice
in the nose and put her
out of her misery.

No comments: