Leaving in the thick of morning traffic, I catch myself
smiling as commuters honk and weave and shake their
fists, open mouths and angry faces looking very much
like song. Perhaps I’m not the only one listening to The Stones
serve up some “Gimme Shelter” live from 1972. But then
through the appreciative clamor of the audience, all
I can hear, again, is Carlin’s voice from back then too:
That’s what living in the city does, man,
sticks your song in your throat.
Finally, escape. Red earth, cattle grazing beneath
the dubious shade of the occasional yucca tree.
The reflected luster of the empty road ahead blends
seamlessly with the ever more bluing sky, an illusion
that always brings back wonder, and I remind myself
to be grateful for the harmony of simple things, trust
that anything is possible. But even in driving west, away,
away, mountains and brief freedom ahead, the stanchion
stays in place, the common wooden clasp and frame
hold fast, and I cannot fathom how.
But we are still singing, even if the muted chorus
does sound more like lowing, and once we join
hands and close our eyes and bow our heads together,
it will again feel very much like home.
For we do have shelter, after all. The meat
is tender, the milk is sweet, the scoop and platter
silver-lined, and we are thankful for these gifts
which we are about to receive.
V.P. Crowe stumbled onto the Dallas poetry scene a very long time ago via Joe Stanco’s Poets’ Roundtable, and the Dallas poetry scene hasn’t quite been able to shake her loose since. She has served on the board of the Dallas Poets Community and been published in Red River Review, Illya’s Honey, Electron Press, the Texas Poetry Calendar, and assorted anthologies. She makes her home in the suburbs with a mad scientist and a houseful of fur.