Roadside Memorial

For a young woman killed on the road near my home.


All things return to dust and carry in them

the memory of primordial stars,

Memory of the river pressed through concrete

in the power lines beside the road

Memory of the forest in the telephone pole.


In this world there is no is –

Only becoming,

The wind becomes the hawk’s wings

that carries it from the telephone pole on updrafts

descending to the scrub oak shade.

The rattlesnake becomes the hawk

after the deadly dance.

Violence befits the moving world moving to its still end,

when all is well and violence becomes impassible peace.

Youth becomes renewed in the birth of every moment

and passes in the death of the moment

and all pass too soon

and all become memory.


Faded asphalt scarred by sun and wind

and travelers at the intersection

of time and timeless.

Immortality at the roadside memorial

where wind tossed grass and milkweed blossoms dance

in the syncopated draft of passing cars.

The intersection is crowned with a cross

for a daughter to soon in passing,

All things return to dust,

to the memory of stars that still dance in her eyes.



© Jedidiah Paschall

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