THE EVOLVING CITY

Martin Galvin


OLD DRIVER'S ED FILM OF WASHINGTON

In the scene before us it could be 1960.
The cars a range of safely muted moods
Detroit is sure will not offend the motoring
Public, as they used to call us those days.
The parking is parallel. Most cars have done
Just swell, but one, a Packard, put in place
By a maybe farmer from a Prairie State,
Throws its rear end out like an ornery cow,
Toward the trolley tracks. The trees recover
Spring, being young at dying out.
The pavement schools itself to walk beside
The street, the street beside the line
That takes the trolley to distant suburbs.

At the beginning of the film, a man waits
For a woman or a ride, it’s hard to say.
His body has the easy slouch of one
Who has fought a war or two, been on
The right side without the pain.
By now, he will have disappeared,
Spliced out to make a brighter scene.
If you mean to park these days,
Read this page fast. Get on past the Packard,
Scour the street on the right. Settle back.
The search will take you where you’ve never been.

 

 

Martin Galvin is the author of Circling Out (Finishing Line Press, 2007) and Wild Card (WWPH). This past summer, he held a writer's residency at Yaddo. Over 300 of his poems have appeared in journals since 19972. He is Book Editor for Poet Lore.

Published in Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 2007.

 

Read more by this author:
Martin Galvin: DC Places Issue
Martin Galvin: Museum Issue