This His First Night Drive

After the movie, driving home from Alamosa,
I pulled off Highway 17 so we could swap seats.
My son—newly permitted, this his first night drive—
Clutched the wheel tightly at ten and two o’clock.
Tense? I asked. I’m nervous, he replied. Why?
All these bunnies on both sides of the road!
Sure enough, there they were—every few yards,
Ears poked up in tufts of grasses I had overlooked,
Giant desert jackrabbits peering out in silhouette,
Perfect profiles of chocolate bunnies, ears perked.
Prolific— no wonder they are Easter’s mascot.
Farther down, more and more, their lumped corpses
Littered the road, unable to rise from the dead
Except as wings, promising a veritable buffet
For morning’s magpies. (A memory: we almost
Named him Corvidae). Poor Sam, I thought,
As knowledge of this deadly power dawned on him.
First, he dropped his speed. Then, this boy, who
Hasn’t yet discarded childhood’s matted teddy bears,
Who shares a bed with his old dog, began to practice
The fast stop, brakes slammed just enough to save us all.


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