Town Roads

At each town line the old town roads change names
To take the name of where you're coming from:
The Chester Road will bring you into Derry,
Derry Road ends at the Chester green.
Confusion wasn’t built in by design—
The roads were laid like spokes on wagon wheels
To serve the farms that long ago moved west-
But this arrangement's hard on travelers
Who simply want to get from place to place.
What these towns need is a Copernicus
To tell them that the center lies without,
And agencies to legislate that roads
That run between them share a common name.
And yet, when sitting on the bench behind
Two cannons and a monument to boys
Who went, when asked, to save that wider world,
But never came back down these wrong-named roads,
I see the possibility: perhaps
The towns were right. All roads don't lead to Rome;
They do, however, radiate from home.

Photo by Anna Evans © 2008

Excerpted from Too Much Explanation Can Ruin a Man, available from David Roberts Press, 2005.

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