Distances (restored to mostly original)

I’ve learned about distances
like this distance
and the how of their lengthening,
come to know every signpost
every exit road along the way –
and where each happens
around those unexpected curves.
Learned, too, how the highway
opens up and spaces change
until flat land stretches out ahead
fallow brown on every side;
how suddenly you’re out there
stunned by warning signs
in a dust bowl where the sun
burns and time slows, where
moving here and left behind
become the milestones we use
to measure out our caring
and these, so far between
Yes, I’ve learned how weariness
like this weariness
takes over
no matter how we fight
to stay alert
our eyes keep closing
on the moment
in the hot dry air
until we sleep
and waking
turn a different way
for freshness
for relief

© belcanto 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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