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What They Are

ISSUE:  Autumn 2001
Not the four wheels,
but clusters of four
and six wheels spinning
into steel hollows
far below the cab. Not a cab,
but high, dark windows
under a crown of lights
and a vast grille displaying
its name: Papa Bear,
Snow Man, Silver Eagle.
Not a truck, but a bird
lifting up over the hill

outside Rumford with a long,
straight tail of logs,
or in the north woods
a ship drifting down, its tarp
swelling in the rain and wind.
Not a ship, but a starship
landing on the night streets
of Presque Isle, lights in the doors
and all along the roof
Not a roof, but a bed
for lime from Thomaston,
or a cement mixer slowly
turning, or a sleek vessel
for milk from Kennebec
Valley farms. Not one, not once,
but many, day after day,
passing above us
like great Buddhas
with headlights in their knees
and small hands resting
at their windshields
on roads all over Maine.


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