Most roads up here still aren’t paved.
Get off the highway, get off the safe roads in the middle of town and you hit-
Gravel, mud, corduroy logging roads, long since de-activated.
Roads are political.
Maintenance happens when industry booms, when an election’s coming, when someone remembers that the map has a northern half.
To drive most of the year is to navigate the barriers between the lands that are considered important-
-and the lands that are ceded back to the wild.
You can forget sometimes, if you travel only between the larger towns, if you live within sight of lights at night,
How thin the line between control and chaos actually is.
It is harder when your drive takes you through the end of the pavement,
And you realize how thin those arteries are,
How narrow the webs between points of civilization,
As the slow steady path of growing seedlings slowly bars
The forgotten passage.
A theme I return to is the precarious balance on the edges of human construction.