By Deb Herz


Before the ten-car pile-up of our lives,

a Sly Stallone lookalike

is driving an 18-wheeler

down the Kancamagus

with his pinky finger,


not minding in the very least

the highway we are on

has just closed,

as snowplows come careening

down slick mountain roads,


because he’s blowing

his nose into a pair

of pink panties

(hot pink with black lace)

and the minute

he closes his eyes to sneeze,

Sam Stanton’s plow

upends his cab

like a ribcage

on the Barbie at Aunt June’s.


Just then his black mane

catches fire and he brakes

at the Scenic View

but it’s already too late.


He wasn’t that good-looking,

but Tillie, the Foghorn Leghorn

at the Last Truck Stop

could have sworn he was famous

in the half-light.


“Dang, with that dimple and five-o’clock

shadow? And leather on leather talking

back to him when he got up to sit down?


“Just 15 more minutes in the oven,

and that blueberry

pie would have been mine. I could of

saved his life, if only he

had a little more time.”


The molten smell of hands

waxing into rings

stays with me still,

even when the apple blossoms

are at their peak

and the purple columbine creep

and the peepers stop

at our windowsill to peep.


You’ll stand up for him

during the service,

after you pay

your respects at the door,

and wish to God

those Spanish flamenco

panties were yours,

so you can tell all your friends,


“Can you believe it?

Little ol’ me

brought Rocky Balboa

down to his knees,

wearing nothing

but that Moroccan moo-moo

Bill got me for our 40th anniversary.


He tells me every day

the only way

I won’t win

is if I let myself lose.


That’s right, girls …

I’ve been going commando

since 1972.”