Near Salt River Road: An Elegy for S.D. – Rita Chapman

I’d say every word
of this is true if I could.
But I can say that the
facts are true, that a man
was struck and killed
on the unlit bottomland
of 370 that night. He was hit
walking away from his truck,
rolled up into the clean new air.
Nobody knows more than that,
but, really, we all thought he
was just another deer
during those twelve sacramental hours,
during the sunlit hour when
I drove through his body.

His body: plain print —
no, a libretto
opera-ed open
to the unsymbolic
haze of a Missouri day.
An atomic circle dissolved
in all distances,
a body radiated.
Few of us become
an arc, a starburst,
an expansion of blooms
reaching across the rims
of our destinations.

We took up his body
with our bodies
and it has been woven
into each of us,
and I don’t know where
I’ve taken him but I
know we all must carry
each other in the end.

Rita ChapmanRita Rouvalis Chapman’s poetry has appeared most recently in Antiphon, Laurel Review, The Connecticut River Review, and the anthology 56 Days of August. She teaches high school English.