A flash of headlights catch my attention
driving along the Bluegrass Parkway;
has me thinking speed trap.
My windshield wipers are getting their workouts in
from icky weather I couldn’t quite wait out
before embarking on this visit to family in Owensboro.

A second flash of headlights makes me alert.
This cop must think he’s found a clever spot
if the other side wants to give us all warnings,
but I’ve already adjusted myself to the conditions.

Then there’s a third flash…

                                               a fourth…

The road dips down into a cut though a mountain.
Above, the clouds are low enough for trees to tickle.
The sun is rendered useless by all that floats before it

and                                                    the rain

                                is just

                                              to pick


It’s like driving my CAR into a waterfall. And I’m not alone
because everybody else is driving CARS into the torrents
and there are CARS all around me with freshly panicked pilots
and CARS going every which way to adjust to the fact
that wipers at full speed cannot meet this intensity
so there are CARS slowing down and swerving CARS in the shoulders
but it’s hard to make a move because a CAR might be there
and you can’t really stop because from behind there are CARS.
CARS at full speed who haven’t hit the storm, CARS that will need
a space to duck into, CARS pushing through fast as they can, CARS
underestimating roads underwater.
There’s a CAR in the median with six-sided damage
and you pray to God to have angels on standby, 
like you pray that your tires maintain traction with the road
and you pray that you don’t end up in the same kind of trouble.
Pray for deliverance; just let the terror end

and then
                                                      the rain


            kind of

As sudden as it began, it’s over.
Color fills back into the knuckles
but it still takes a while to get back up to speed
as I process this new display of nature’s ferocity.
It’s a long time before I finally remember to turn off my hazards;
I’m just praying. An emergency vehicle goes the other way,
I keep praying. I pray and pray and pray
that everybody makes it through the storm okay

and then,
despite the warning’s complete inability
to convey the dangers ahead,
I flash my headlights at the other side.