Frank Wagner: New Poem

Stop and Render Aid

by Frank Wagner


Every traveler knows about
certain points along the road,
where the asphalt cracks,
where the broken bottles crashed,
where the chicken did not
make it across.
This is where the sun blinds the eyes,
or the rain gets too thick that
it looks like a grey sheet of water.
Winds so strong the car can’t move
anywhere but back.
Heat on a summer highway has
melted the tire treads,
they’re all bare
ready to blow out,
strips of rubber on
this broken road.
Gas runs low and there’s no place to fill,
so you pull over anyway because,
the engine is overheated and steaming.

Drivers from every car and truck
keep rolling by until
they get caught with
their own dead engine
on the side of this same road.

By then you got your problems fixed,
time to move on, and move on fast.
They had just driven on by
going at their fastest speed.
Did they even see you there?

Then it’s time to ask:
Why should I stop?
Why should I care?

That’s the best time to stop
and render aid.


–Frank Wagner, Texas


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