Amid a sea of suspect vehicles
Sat my conveyance, minus one hubcap
Gone who knows where, but otherwise unscathed
From being towed. Beneath the wiper blade
A sun-dried parking ticket hugged the glass.
The office staff did business from within
A bulletproof enclosure. They took cash
Through an elaborate lever-action drawer,
After which they did your paperwork.
You bargained with them through a microphone.
No cash, no car. They popped the drawer open
When people stepped up, but some were just there
To plead a case, some partial payment scheme,
Youíve got to work with me, cut me a break,
Iíll lose my job, Iíll end up on the street.
The staff would calmly hear the person out
And then explain that thatís not how it worked.
If there was continued argument
They simply flipped the microphone switch off
And waited till the person went away.
Outside, beyond the scrubland near the lot,
The scattered brush and rubble and old tires,
Worn-out buildings crowded re-patched streets
Beneath a web of poles and drooping wires,
While in the distance rose the stout concrete
Pillars of a freeway overpass,
Where high aloft the guard-railed roadbed showed
Only the tops of cars as they zipped by,
Casting fleeting shadows down below,
Bound for elsewhere, riding through the sky.
If you have any comments on this poem, David Stephenson would
be pleased to hear from you.