Claire Keyes
The Dodge In the Woods

When we pass a car junked
in the woods, I feel a spike of fear, conjure up
gangsters, a dead body festering in the trunk.

Oh come on, my husband says, it's just a Dodge.
He turns back to check it out, reminding me
that country people ditch cars

all the time: in their front yards, in the forest.
Get a few guys, a couple of six packs, flip it over.
A worthless shit-box of a car, this Dodge.

A coupe with swept wings, nothing can camouflage
its pathos: no joy rides, no agile lovers
wrestling in its back seat.

Weeds and grasses assume a weary familiarity
and in the lee of its bruised fender, seedlings
root and stretch towards the sun.

Soon a forest growing up and through the car—
as in the Yucatan, the Mayan ruins. In centuries,
prying shovels will open the mound

to reveal this icon of our times, its blank headlamps
that signify a wired intelligence, once feared,
then displaced, perhaps a god.


Photo by Emily Sharp
Detail - click for full image.