Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Resting on the Wheel

Driving along a little side-street at fifteen-twenty miles per hour
There's no traffic but you, and it's a good thing I see you coming, big white panel van
veering over across the center
still a good 30 feet away from me.
It's all early morning slow motion
nothing to be alarmed about but hey--maybe so:
Shouldn't you be staying on your own side of the road?
I beep. Your trajectory does not change.
I honk. Your trajectory does not change.
I honk longer.
Now I can see your face, directed downward
but don't worry. I don't think for a moment that you are
dead in there, unconscious, having a health event;
I know the behavior too well
and ah, now maybe you heard my noise,
Yeah no, you still veer, and I am observing in the slo-mo-moment momentum
the diagonal line you defaulted to is unchanging.
I lay on the horn and adjust steering toward the shoulder of the road to make a bay-line around you
and I watch for the eye contact.
Your face lifts slightly and there it is, yeah no:
you raise your face to the direction of the road ahead,
that trick of timing, that tick to tell your conscience you're doing fine, little phone in one hand,
the other resting on the wheel.