running on roads,
trapped in the center divide
of a Massachusetts freeway,
unable to reach the other side,
nowhere for us to pull over safely
to attempt a rescue

another just a dark blur
bolting across three lanes
to end under the wheel of our car
as we sped toward L.A. at 70 miles an hour,
too dangerous to slam on brakes

then just last week,
the one loping in the rain
along Highway 41
directly in front of us
as we rounded a curve
on the winding two-lane road –

they run through
my conscience
muddy leashes of guilt