Thursday, August 4, 2011

poem of 08.04.11

car wrecks

the first one
that i saw this week
happened at the corner
of stillwell avenue and 86th street
two sets of old people
in old people cars
people who should
no longer be driving
sideswiping each other
trying to beat the light

the second one
that i saw this week
happened where bath avenue
intersects with 26th ave
one car rear-ending another car
pushing it into someone’s
well-manicured lawn
bending and twisting
their newly painted iron fence

and the third one
that i saw this week
happened where 75th street
meets 3rd avenue
this time two jeeps
one black, one silver
both coming from the opposite way
both trying to make the light
before it turned red

in every situation
the same thing
people getting out of their cars
to survey the damage
incredulous looks on their dull faces
talking on cell phones
as packs of rubber neckers gather around
and no witness comes forward

i wonder if it is coincidence
me seeing all of these car accidents
or if more and more
as our impatience grows in this nation
as our desire to let the other man
have the right of way lessens
as kindness becomes replaced by
a sense of perverse entitlement
as divisiveness strangles unity
that what i have witnessed this week
has simply become common animal behavior

and that by next summer
the simple pop of metal smacking metal
at the intersection of every miserable street
will be as common to me
as the sound of early morning lawn mowers
and idling trucks.

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