Things Continue No Matter What

Everyday life is full of drama, I think, and we take it all for granted, maybe don’t even notice it, if we’re not in the starring role.


Lined up by chance

commuting schedule

school drop-offs

going to the grocery cleaners library

all the cars waited

for the flagman

hopping from foot to foot in the frigid air

to pass them through

the work zone

Complications developed

when the commuter train blocked

the grade crossing

Every driver’s hand hovering

over the steering wheel

to press the horn

but not

because it’s no one’s fault

they all had to wait their turns

when a siren barely heard

over car radios

through closed windows

crying children

chattting carpoolers

then louder

Drivers’ eyes front

then to rear-view mirrors

The workmen moved away from the middle of the road.

Coming up ahead

a driver thinks

they all think

The vehicle approaches

An ambulance.

It moves quickly


along the line

swings through the turn

the paramedics,

their faces

impassive, focused, calm,

in the front seat.

Gone just like that

the hospital is only two miles away

and they will be there

before the traffic clears

in the work zone.

A runner in a yellow shirt

darts through the line

the jackhammer starts up again

train gates lift

the cars start to move.

wise old headclay tile, 2012

wise old head
clay tile, 2012


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