He totalled his blue truck –
slowly spun out on an icy bridge,
rammed it into a guard rail.
Climbed out unbruised.
Coal Creek. Middle of nowhere.
A passing couple brought him home.
Then three years
with letters from the Motor Vehicle Department
before he relinquished his license.
Before we met, while driving cab,
he broke his neck. It rewelded
off-kilter: head stuck forward.
Six years later, it’s that jut I suddenly see ahead.
It’s late, but for once no mist or fog. And on all
the twists and turns of that coastal highway,
its bluffs and coves, I am following
the spitting image of him
in that battered Sonoma –
its peeling paint, cracked brake lens,
the slumped driver silhouetted by my lights –
only the two of us on the road.