The Nairobi-Mombasa Road

The Nairobi-Mombasa Road
For Three Word Wednesday
May 12, 2008

The highway stretches
from here to there,
shimmering with the heat
of a long season of drought.
All that lies between,
in these huge empty spaces —
empty to us, that is — filled
with the inconsequential,
forgotten, ignored millions,
who we choose to thunder
past on the way
from here to there.
Who eke out their daily
in this place we would
never have noticed
but for a flat tire
or the call of nature
halfway between
here and there.

They, for their part,
watch us hurry
past on our way to places
they’re better off not knowing,
leaving exhaust and empty
Fanta Orange bottles,
and a vague feeling that somewhere
else might be better than here,
wonder what could be so important
there, that we’d want to rush
there, from that other there,
and back again.