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on the road

when you’re driving 
you don’t think about what they’d find,
what they’d call
‘personal effects’
if they found your body.

in a pad full of notes 
from other crash sites

you’d maybe be:

black-rimmed glasses
hair just-cut
wedding ring
and silver watch,
a few empty water bottles on the floor
pegs, a collection of john forbes’ poetry
purple suit-jacket
last year’s crumpled registration sticker
and a golf club in the back, 
the one you found in the front garden
one morning

and all you are now
is a question (is this guy a donor?)
or a sheet to be filled out
at the morgue

you don’t ask yourself, when driving
what kind of jokes they’d make about you,
it might be just like TV,
maybe they’d think you should have had
your prescription checked

and which one tells your wife,
how do they decide? will they draw straws
plucked from a roadside littered
with windshield glass?
or maybe rock paper scissors, 
maybe it’s just a job
to them, same way your job 
is just a job sometimes.

when you’re driving
you don’t think about
how, on the way there, they might
get back to whatever it was they were
on about before the call,
could be Carlton getting a thrashing
last night
whether Australia should boycott
Beijing, or a girl
the driver’s just met, he likes her legs
and she’s into acting

you don’t think about
yourself just behind the glass
in the supposed repose of the white sheet,
belongings in a plastic bag:
one that’s somehow meant to sum you up 
or give comfort to loved ones,
as if whatever happened to be in your car 
the day you died,
would be everything
to the people who’d just lost you.

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