Steve Meador is the author of Throwing Percy from the Cherry Tree, a poetry book that was an entrant for a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. He is widely published in online and print journals. He has been a real estate broker since the early 1980s and currently lives and practices in the Tampa, FL, area.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Middle of nowhere

I have been to the Middle of Nowhere. There is a leaning street sign and crumbling asphalt that has faded from macho darkness to milky gray. From above, the asphalt would look like a jigsaw puzzle, pieces defined by cracks overstuffed with the hardiest of  weeds  A few feet from the street’s edge a ditch coddles water the color of Mail Pouch spittle. Beyond that, seeds of nothingness have sprouted and matured into dunes of boredom, which in turn will pitch fluff into the first decent breeze in hopes of spreading to adjacent land. The place is oak trees, acorns, thistle, sedge and poison ivy. At first it is silent, except for the call of a single scrub jay. The song is weak and absorbed by nearby leaves. Then comes a hum from the wings of a fly and murmurs from crickets and frogs. The whole of their sounds is audible, if I point my ear in the right direction, like a timid imitation of the blues. Perhaps this is the type of place where Agee found his “voices gentle and meaningless like the voices of sleeping birds.” There is one yellow flower, maybe the size of a half dollar, atop a low scrabble of weeds. It does not belong here, in the Middle of Nowhere. We have found each other, and the decision to be made is whether I leave alone.

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