Tom French

A Rest Stop near Rochester

Tom French

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Buzzards are returning to the hard shoulder.

The broke State is letting nature handle

the road kill we encounter heading south –

skunk, deer, raccoon, wild turkey, no badger.


We read A Blessing, cast in resin, blessing all

whose absences are perfectly preserved

by a caretaker making circles with a cloth,

moving from one picnic station to the next,


a Zen master in overalls observing

his silence in this temple of departure.

Before belting up to hit the road again,


in rest rooms kept so clean it is as if

nobody ever stopped to pass water here,

we leave no trace and dry our hands with air.




Tom French


Tom French's collections are published by The Gallery Press. He lives in County Meath.

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