An Old Neighbor Passing in a Car

by Joe Engel

Who often had bruises

blooming on her her arms,

rouge over

bruises on her face


as though

the road grinds through her.

Her hair wisps

like tail pipe smoke

in the open window.

The lines on her face

ask the highway 

to last a whole journey.

There was a man 

who died from rye whiskey, a man

who made her cry

only when he was alive.

I’ve heard she kneels once a week

beneath repaired stained glass

in the Lutheran church

on 52nd street.

Engines outside

ride all over the sermon.

Her cold hands in her lap

have felt plenty

of the wrong things.

Her sons and daughters

ride their motorcycles

back to her 

once the salt is washed away

knowing she might

stare into the sun

from the hot, cracked seat

of her Impala

and not blink.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Luan says:

    WOW! Gave me goosebumps.


    1. ArtRoot's Racine Writer-In-Residence says:

      Thanks Luan!


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