Various and Sundry Poetry

old mind, old thought

Late, late again, and the string of red lights on Route 9, drivers slow and cautious even though there was not a lick of snow on the road, and the evening could not have been any clearer. I was watching myself begin to feel that raw edginess, not unlike those first inklings of hunger or the urge to pee, the slightest nigglings of discomfort. I knew the clock in the car was fast, but it wasn't that fast. Red light after red light, and with each minute's loss I pushed my fingernails into my palm, as if the hard pressure would stop everything, or keep me from plowing into the car just ahead. But it wasn't a lesson. It wasn't even a choice. This particular lateness irreversible and incontestable as a downpour. But there was this: an undoing of old mind, old thought, old stories. Red light not as punishment. Not as disaster. Not as the end of innocence, the nail on the coffin of failure. These narratives had gathered too much useless dust, taken up too much acreage and sucked the land of good water. Outside, the night was taking its own sweet time. I turned on the radio, and began to sing.