Saturday, January 24, 2009

Our Own Business

















Our Own Business


I saw a man carrying a ladder walking alone beside
a highway on the plains. Dusk only just
lit up the shirt on his back and the ladder's
angles. Had he climbed, or was he going
to climb, and what? There weren't any houses,
trees, or barns around. The man had that stiff,
relentless gait of a resolute person in an awkward
situation. As I drove past him,

I was about to laugh and judge him to be
"crazy," but I noticed I was driving a car alone
across the plain listening to a radio talk-show
about mysterious lights in the sky, and I'd just
decided to bypass a human hauling a ladder,
and not to talk to him or offer transportation.

I set aside judgment, looked at the speedometer
and fuel gauge, and turned on the headlights,
which made the highway mysterious.
Say what you will about that man and me. We
were minding our own business on the plains.

Copyright 2009 Hans Ostrom
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