Thursday, April 22, 2010

National Poetry Month, #20: An American Idle

An American Idle

I have a dream

that I'm stuck in Los Angeles traffic
windows down
singing loudly with the radio
an American idle

somebody in a car next to me
road rage bubbling between his ears
suddenly hears my singing
and doesn't roll up his window
doesn't scoff
just stares in silence
until the moment overtakes him
and he sings along

the conviction ripples
car after car
lane after lane
freeway after freeway
up the 5 toward San Francisco
across the 10 toward Phoenix
off exit ramps onto surface streets
through surface streets into neighborhoods

from the west coast eastward
Manifest Destiny in reverse
then on cruise ships and aircraft carriers
across oceans, through ports into other countries
through war zones, tourist traps
through missionaries into remote locations
until the entire world, a stage
to humanity in harmony,
voices raised in song


when traffic inches forward
or the radio reception falters
or the song ends

when the world falls back into
its disconnected silence

I'll wake up
get in the car
drive to work
and assume that we're all just
one tune away from global bliss

and I'll keep my windows up
until I hear a good enough song
to sing

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