Before they paved the streets of Mesilla
they dug a trench in front of our house, four feet
wide, five feet deep, where the sidewalk
would eventually go, and my father laid a wide board
across it so he could pull his car into the drive, come
and go, come and go, which is what he did,
and my brother spent that entire summer
in the trench, under the board, alone down there
in the silt and shade, finding out what he was.
Everyone was waiting to see what was going
to happen next. I'd long since given my days over
to watching the men from the city—those men
in their plain blue shirts or not, knuckles
thickly clotted with tar—they returned each morning
with their bent, black shovels and a weeping drum of tar.
One thing led to another. That's progress. A road
is the crudest faith in things to come.

:: Carrie Fountain, in Cave Wall (2008)

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