A wise man said to keep the straight and narrow:
make double lists of passwords, bank accounts;
keep three years’ worth in savings; hide a key;
arrange for someone good to take the kids:
with every sweet success, a sacrifice
to make a warding sign against the truck
the bus    the train     the somehow unmanned fate
that rounds the corner unappointed     not
exactly aimed, but always hitting its mark.
The random truck that took our best-laid plans
still blindly makes its rounds, but now it fades
behind the fleet of panel vans and U-Hauls
that move full of intent: their drivers heard
back-asswards phonetag rumors of God’s Will
that bribed their eyes to see some revelers
or Sunday shoppers as their enemy,
their feet to floor it right into the crowd.
So now the prudent DPW and mayor
not only need to build the elementary schools
with colored tiles to show kids where to sit
out of a shooter’s gaze; they need to guard
the humblest Harvest Festival as though
these stands and makeshift merry-go-round might goad
a crackpot prophet into paying a visit.
The town’s snow-plowing gear, emptied of salt,
now beeps as it reverses in to block
the street: proverbial umbrella for
new rains that might shoot down at any time.
Within a few years, the men in orange vests
who park those trucks at marathons and fairs
will not be needed—
                                  autonomous, the trucks
will circle the town, endowed with wisdom by
an algorithm that guards us faithfully
against the widow   stranger   orphan   guest
all possible intruders to our camp.