As I hitchhike along the road,
A dusty old pick-up truck
Drives towards me. Optimistically
I stick out my thumb.
The truck slows enough for me to
See two figures sitting in its bed.
One, a bony old man with
Arms of pure sinew and skin
Like a leather jerkin, rocks
Back and forth on a tire that
Serves as his seat. The other,
Sitting on the floor with his back
Against the cab, is a grimy youth
With dingy dreads. They, with
Shoulders sagging, sit and,
With hungry eyes, stare beyond me
At the prospect of work ahead.
Their faces remind me that for some
Of us, the US is a third world country.
The truck makes a sharp turn,
Scattering puffs of dust into my face.
I close my eyes as I sneeze.
I open them and look out into
The dirt road. The truck, along with
Its passengers, are nowhere to be seen.
A. J. Hayes
Give a poet a pen