Evil Highway by Estelle Beutz ’19

Evil Highway

 

33 miles of blacktop lay ahead of him.

He drives this highway every day

to a soy-bean farm.

A humble family farm

on the border of South Dakota and Nebraska.

It doesn’t pay much, but it was the only work he could find.

 

His commute begins in Presho, South Dakota

There, he rents a room

from a man named Jacob.

Cold in the winter

and sweltering in the summer.

Cobwebs fill the corners of his windows.

 

Each day he drives.

45 minutes there and back.

From Presho to the border.

Then the border to Presho.

His cracking hands grip the steering wheel.

Highway 53 is his only companion.

 

He has been driving this road for 13 years now.

Each pothole and bump engraved in his mind.

She calls to him each morning.

Guiding him to another day of work.

Her familiar faded gray color.

Her tire skid marks, her scattered yellow lines, and her dim road signs.

 

The 33 miles of lonely blacktop trap him

In a life of boredom

She chokes his dreams in her tar grasp

South Dakota High Way 53:

merciless, desolate, alone.