It's 11.9 miles to Mardela Springs. 
The public school's a left away from 
the town which is too small to be called 
a town.

Past the school and heading 
south is a road which 
immediately kisses country, 
a large pond there

with a house 
beside it. 
The shadows 
in the fall morning
make a wind beside the house.

The students are tired. 
It's Monday. It doesn't seem
to matter what day, most of the time 
they're tired.

In the early fall dark 
the road whispers to the pond.
"Amends." School is out, no one hears. In 216 
the janitor replaces a fluorescent light. 
He drops a screw from ten steps up.

The school is so quiet it hears the drop.
The school and the road begin their talk.
Soon the pond joins in.

From Pennsylvania Collection Agency by Michael Burkard, published by New Issues Poetry & Prose. © 2001 by Michael Burkard. Used with permission. All rights reserved.