At the Cross Roads

While stopped for some fast food and self-serve gas-
I saw her watching me watching her.
She was young- her late teens I guessed.  
I did not know her, but I had known other girls-
others of similar circumstances- 
at least I assumed so. 
All dressed up and no place to go described her-
sitting on a battered suitcase at the cross-roads
on that hot July afternoon-
waiting for someone, anyone, to offer her a ride-
to somewhere, anywhere- it’s not like it mattered where-
as long as it took her far away from this place,
the only place she had ever known- 
a share cropped farm- a red dust hell hole-
an unfortunate place of birth.

Times had not always been so bad-
times not remembered anyway. 
All she had now was in that suitcase,
and her Sunday best she was still wearing-
that she had worn for the funeral-. 
the final period to this existence.
No fond memories of childhood remained- 
there were none.
It seemed that she had never really been a child at all-
always grownup worries and responsibilities.
But things would be different now- 
she would escape this place-
she had dreams to fulfill- new memories to make.

I would offer her a lift- I was too late.
A big black limo approached- 
stopping- the door opened-
I watched as she hesitated- the choice was hers-
a brief discussion with- I could not see who-
finally getting in- leaving the suitcase in the dust-
heading to who knows where. 
I feared for her-
for her dreams- her new memories-
her very existence-
I felt deeply saddened for her.
Would anyone else ever again?

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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