Saturday, February 6, 2010

Poem: Sheridan

by Alex Gallo-Brown

Telephone wires drawn tight

against a weary sky,
sky spangled with squares
of blue light—borrowed, perhaps,
from some other sky—I drift
through dreary towns,
driving the car my dad used to,
looking past the chains.
Dairy Queen, Wal-Mart, KFC,
you know nothing of
what I am about to say.

Cars can mean something
says my teenage self,
waiting on the curb after school
for the big white sedan to show.
Drizzle hovering like a shroud,
I searched the car-saturated street,
imagining the jets of heat,
the shout of radio,
my dad’s face broken
by his grin.

In Sheridan, I park by the side of a road,
finish my lukewarm tea,
and watch a woman deliver the mail.
Watch her fight her own body 
just to exit her car.
In the city where I live, where I will always live,
the mailmen drive state-issued vehicles.
But in Sheridan, they drive their own.
Hers is a weathered maroon SUV
with a sign strapped to its roof that says US Mail.
Above her, a flag surges west in the wind.
Tree branches droop toward the ground.
I have no idea what I am about to say.

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