V.P. Crowe

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.

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