I almost ran over him at the route 60 exit
before the forlorn row of fast food restaurants
he had scurried across the road in front of my car
and then, in confusion and bewilderment,
agitated and translucent
in the harsh glare of strip mall and street lights
scurried back into the middle of the street
in search of something half-remembered
though exactly what, he did not know.

Caught in the headlights
but not so graceful as a deer
clumsy, uncertain, with jerky movements
I came to a dead stop while he sorted himself out
watching as his weird whitish gray body
went through its contortions
and in that moment, profound empathy
for that awkward but earnest creature.

We looked at each other
in mutual understanding
and I would almost swear we exchanged quick nods
before he ran underneath my car
and back into his wooded refuge.

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