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April 22, 2024

An Acrid Smell

By Wayne F. Burke

An Acrid Smell

bad as Mexico, Maine
as you come into town
along the river
glimpsed through roadside
trees, the
Androscoggin;
stately brick mill-built
factory houses, huge
boulder at side of road
impossible height of smokestacks
in puff-ball clouds
orange & blue--
a guy snarled at me
in the Quik-Stop parking lot
did not like my Vermont
license plate I guessed
or maybe just me;
I blew that pop-stand
for New Hampshire and
White Mountain straightaways
at 80 mph
a great gray heron flew
out of woods and
over the car
knobby knees, legs
folded
huge wingspan
pearl gray feathers--
a folded card table
with bill--
soon as I entered Vermont
got stopped by kid Statie-cop
wrote me up at 10 miles over
not the actual 20--
I forgot to thank him
for that.







Article © Wayne F. Burke. All rights reserved.
Published on 2024-04-01
Image(s) are public domain.
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