Friday, May 31, 2013


It’s taking forever, the flicker
from red to green. He sits at
his wheel, thrumming rust-red claws,
anonymous in this endless field of idling
engines and blooming exhaust, the acrid
odors of impatience.

Reluctant tenant since that humbling
fall from th’Ethereal skies, years ago,
he’s never felt at home not really, not
until he bought this souped up adamantine
Toyota for a song, outfitted it with spinners,
a basso beat deep enough to shake windows,
a hood full of rumbling penal fire. Home.
He can hardly believe his luck. Thank you,
somebody. Henry Ford, tangled in a rosary,
dangles from his rear view. 

He loves the five lane freeways where he can
drive for fifty miles with his blinker running,
swerve and slow unpredictably, eat fast food,
talk to his agent on a cell phone, wink at a Mormon
family of four as he cuts them off close, testing
Dad’s capacity for the profane. He adores
the cloverleafs of concrete, the exhilarating
rev toward takeoff before a squealing
stop, inches from a bumper sticker. “It’s a life
not a choice.” Amen, brother. He gives them
a horny thumbs up, grinning wide
around a mouthful of razor blades.

But most of all, it occurs to him now,
watching the swaggering pod of slow
pedestrians in the crosswalk, the
teenagers losing their jeans and
hip young mothers pushing strollers,
most of all he loves the noise,
the diesel engines clattering like coins in a can,
the angry horns and wailing ambulances,
the cacophony of car alarms and construction.
He fiddles with the radio, delighted by how
we've finally forgotten that indeed God speaks,
but only in silence.

About Allen Morris Jones:
Allen Morris Jones is published widely, though in fiction and personal essay more than poetry. His novel, Last Year’s River, was published by Houghton Mifflin too many years ago. His book, A Quiet Place of Violence: Hunting and Ethics in the Missouri River Breaks, was recently re-released in paperback and e-book. Most recently, his short story, The Wolf Skin, was published by High Desert Journal and nominated by them for a Pushcart. He resides in Bozeman, Montana.