Alternate Route 58 (Lee County, VA) - Ben Rasnic

Two-lane asphalt
meanders like a black snake
winding through country fields
of wildflowers and tall grass,
barbed wire fences framing
vacant stares of cattle
and unpainted barns
leaning in the wind.

There still exists a few roads
in these parts which have escaped
revitalization projects  ̶
federally-funded mandates
engineered to transform the last vestiges
of Americana
into four-lane graveyards
bereft of character, identity;
of unadulterated beauty;

Like the old home place
over on the ridge  ̶
tin roof flashing
in the summer sun;
paint peeling from natural
wood planks, teal green shutters
creaking in the crisp country breeze;

and beside the gravelly driveway,
an old Chevy put out to pasture
rests on gray cinder blocks
beside a rusty wheelbarrow
offering cool shade
to a sorry old mutt
whose fierce guard dog bark
has disintegrated
to a hoarse abrasive howl.

His sad red eyes
acknowledge my passing;
the iron rooster weathervane
pointing the way.

Originally published in The Orange Room Review

Ben Rasnic is originally from Jonesville, Virginia, population <1000, now residing in Baltimore / DC suburb of Bowie, Maryland.  Having graduated from a high school which longer exists, Rasnic received his Bachelor of Arts from a college which later changed its name.  Author of three published poetry chapbooks, “Artifacts and Legends”, “Puppet” & “Synchronicity”, Rasnic’s poems have been nominated for “Best of the Net” and “The Pushcart Prize”.