Kilometer Marker 272

Road to nowhere?
Road to nowhere?

The pony sighs

as she is unburdened

of small, insulated

bags which my family

carries to the edge

of the paved road.

Surrounded by steppe

so burnt by the cold

and sun that its

yellow husks shimmer

a faint green as if

teasing spring.

The bus appears as

a speck but quickly

enlarges before stopping.

I load the bags below,

my family taking seats

on stools in the aisle

of the crowded shuttle.

They drive off in the

direction from which

they didn’t come,

signaling me to mount

my horse awkwardly

as it spun defiantly

in the swirls of gray

and brown dirt.

Composed 02/05/14

Author’s Note: While taking the bus east out of UB, we made many stops in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere to pick up some herders who live “close” to the paved road. Even herders need to use the buses now and again. No livestock was brought with them, it should be noted.

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