N.C. poet laureate Valerie Macon's poem “Detour”:
I’m grateful for my car, he says,
voice raspy with hard living.
Tossed on the seat, a briefcase
covered with union stickers,
stuffed with unemployment forms,
want ads, old utility bills,
birth certificate, school application
papers for the skinny ten-year-old
sitting beside him who loves baseball.
The cat paces the seats. Rain
rumbles on the hood, wind
snatches the leaves into a spiral –
a layoff, a broken leg, a missed payment;
fate, a twister, picked him up
and dropped him on a side street.