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Freeway Dawn

Paul Deane

Stop-and-go traffic staggers along,
bumper-to-bumper past the brink of dawn
till the raw gaze of the ragged sun
        glances off fenders
        and glares on the hills.

The news-anchor's voice keeps nattering on,
like the humming motor or the hissing fan,
and with rapid pulse an arresting tone
        pierces right through
        each portable cell --

There's a public listing for this private hell.

But under the brush on bright-edged hills
where pattering feet turn poised by holes,
and high up in haze where hawk-shadows wheel,
        and cloudbanks mirror
      the colors of dawn,

and even where traffic inches and crawls,
another pulse measures patterns revealed
in balance of limb, in breath held still,
     when a moment freezes,
     moves and is gone

like a sudden deer in the slanting sun.

Copyright © Paul Deane, 2000.
All rights reserved.