“ON THE ROAD”

Poem from Rosemary Lowe:
I HAVE BEEN LYING HERE FOR HOURS, SINCE THE COLD NIGHT’S DEATH WIND HURTLED MY LIVING BODY INTO THE COLD GRIP OF DEATH…
SO SOON  MY  YOUNG LIFE,  TORN FROM ME, TERRIFIED BY THE CRUSH OF METAL UPON MY FLESH–OH, THE BLOOD AND THE PAIN….
THE ROAD– HUMANS CALL IT– WITH THEIR POWERFUL KILLING MACHINES, SO FAST, SO FINAL—GOING WHERE?
MILLIONS OF MY KIND–FOUR LEGGEDS–WITH PLACES TO GO, FAMILIES TO BE WITH, NEVER TO MAKE IT TO OUR DESTINATION…
NEVER TO SNUGGLE AGAIN, AGAINST FAMILIAR FUR, THE WARMTH AND LOVE OF ONE’S OWN KIND…
TOO FAST, TOO BIG–HARD METAL AGAINST A SOFT LIVING BODY–THAT BREAKS AND BLEEDS..DO YOU HEAR MY CRIES?
DO YOU SEE MY SHATTERED, BLOOD-SOAKED BODY ON THE ROAD?— DO YOU EVER SEE?
I AM NOT JUST A BODY, A THING.
I WAS SOMEONE’S MATE, SOMEONE’S CHILD, I WAS SOMEONE.
I WAS AN ANIMAL, JUST LIKE YOU.
——Rosemary Lowe
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13 thoughts on ““ON THE ROAD”

  1. Great piece on the sadness and brutality of road kills…..
    Road kills infuriate me. I think many people hit animals on purpose; they just refuse to slow down,
    even if they see an animal by the side of the road. I guess one could think that maintaining speed could get you past the animal faster. If possible, I always slow way down and when I’m on back roads I scan for any movement on the sides of the road. With city driving, I still watch out, but make sure no one is tailgating me
    Obviously, some animal/car accidents cannot be avoided, but I feel many can.

    • Thanks so much, Renee. There are so many heart-felt replies to this poem, which suddenly came upon me to write. If I had thought about writing this, it probably would have been more difficult to do, you know? I just grabbed a pen, and it all came bursting out—how many times we have all seen those once-live bodies on the roads we travel….
      Ida, your wonderful comments made me think of my late father—who used to stop his truck (he was a carpenter in Cleveland), and get out to stop traffic to let a family of geese cross the road!
      Ahimsa and Damovand, thanks, too, for the information you gave on the depravity of those evil humans. I will look at those links!

  2. You’re not alone in this Rosemary – I often am saddened at how people just speed on by, seemingly without a care in the world or awareness for anything beyond their own limited space in the drivers seat – maybe in a meaningless cell phone conversation; I don’t think every call is an emergency. I also feel that most of these accidents can be avoided with a little care and foresight.

    But we are told humans outrank all other life. People drive much too fast. My husband and I have been known to give some critters a decent, respectful burial – or at least take them out of direct traffic – and help geese and ducks across the street. The goslings and ducklings are out now. You’ll many times get a dirty look from a driver (what do I care?), but many times a thumbs up too!

  3. Finally, there is more attention to the millions of animal lives taken on our roads.

    Mostly the deaths have been ignored. However, a few people have decided on a “clever” way to profit from them. I speak of the road kill designer plush toys. Below is description from Amazon on one of those toys they were selling:

    “He measures a healthy 12 inches from the tip of his twitching nose to his outstretched back paws, and 5 inches across the widest part of his body. His fluffy bunny ears add another 5 inches to his length. One is half-cocked vertically upwards, the other lies flat on the ground. In the middle he squishes out to 3 inches high with the blood and guts stuffed in, and 2 inches high with them out.
    He weighs a piffling 350 grams. He won’t be the first to admit it, but as his modest dimensions show he was the runt of the litter

    “The teddy body bag is made from an opaque plastic so you can see the gore inside. It has a white zipper down the middle. And it’s 14 inches long by 10 inches wide. With a bit of prodding and pounding, it’s just enough space for a run-over rabbit. The toe tag is made out of recycled brown card. It’s attached to the toe with string. And there’s even a sew-in instruction label that’s crusted with blood.”

    There are also other road kill animals people can select, including “Splat Cat”

    Reviews from buyers claim that their children loved their new toys. (Their new dead and eviscerated plush toys!)

    Unfortunately, they don’t even recognize how disgusting the toys or their buying choices are.

    However, there are more people paying attention. They are acknowledging that the victims by the side of the road were once living creatures, probably driven out of their homes by developments and malls and forced to face multilane traffic. There are often more victims than we can see, such as are all the babies who die because their mother doesn’t make it home.

    If you go on the Internet and google “At Rest” and the name of Emma Kisiel, you can see the photos she took of animals who were killed and the shrines she created for them.

    Also, the great nature writer Barry Lopez has a small art book entitled Apologia, which documents the roadside victims he encountered in a journey from Oregon to Indiana.

    With so many animal lives destroyed by our increasing numbers, developments, vehicles, it is time we recognized the extent of the suffering and death we are inflicting on our travels.

      • I couldn’t believe that when I first saw it-‘until I saw ads and it was for real. Whenever I think we can’t sink lower, something like road kill toys proves me wrong.

        The photos by Kisiel shows our better side.

    • I hope she kills Heng, her demented boyfriend and then herself and rids the world of her useless existence. We don’t need any more sadistic parasites like that.

      • Well, tragic all around. I couldn’t bring myself to watch the video, but reading that the bf ‘wanted to pop him’ was disgusting to me. Let’s hope he’s court-martialed and given a dishonorable discharge.

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