Lights Across the Snow
J. T. Ledbetter (bio)

Lights across the snow tell me I’m passing Rolfsmeier’s farm
to be sold at auction today. The old horse doesn’t know
he’s promised to me and will not have to work anymore.
The wagon he pulled is frozen in its ruts and they will break it loose
after Chet Shank yells “SOLD” to the man on the Milford Road.

William will tip his chair back on the porch and watch the auction
and suck his teeth. He says after it’s over he’ll drive down the lane
to the highway and turn right to his sister’s in Moorhead, Minnesota,
or left to Albuquerque, where a single lady works the pass-through
at a truck stop and gave him refills. His children threaten to stop
him if he turns left.

I will skip the auction and his kids telling him what to do and where
he should die. When they start to argue about who gets the farm,
he will go out the back door and get in the old truck I hid in the Wild
Plum orchard, a map of New Mexico on the windshield.
I would like to see them pause in the bidding to watch an old truck
bounce across the garden to the highway, a broken taillight
winking on and off in the falling snow, going south.



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