March 22, 2007

Reading the Signs


Reading the Signs

The first time I applied

for my driver's license,
I failed.
Rolling stop,
the official said,
and I could tell from the way
he put his pen down
that it was over.

On Canal Road, where everyone
has been detoured now that
South Middlebush is under construction
again, the road is slick with runoff
and narrow at the curves;
even the most harried and hurried
are forced to slow down.
It feels dangerous.

And there's this one
stop sign with a message
taped to the back of it.
Endless war is wrong.
It's true. But we forget.
And it's easier
to keep rolling
than to stop.

(Thanks to the women of Poetry Thursday
for their continuing inspiration.)

9 comments:

Dave said...

Very nice! Political poems aren't easy, but I think you pulled it off.

Beaman said...

A poem to make the reader contemplate long after.

strauss said...

Really enjoyed this gently delivered, reflective message.

JAXTER said...

ohhhh, so powerful yet gentle!

Regina Clare Jane said...

Excellent, Shelley- it gets the point across for sure...

Kimberley McGill said...

This poem works very well! People tend to run from 'loud' political poems, but poems like this people tend to lean in and listen more closely. Well done.

cloudscome said...

Beautiful. I love the way you pulled the driver's test failure experience together with the sign and photo. Thanks.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I agree, I like the way you've delivered a political message quietly and reflectively and tied in with the everyday. That's how its got to be done if people are really to listen. I also think its a very well written poem.

Mary said...

thank you for this poem. Will you read it on the congress floor today during the senate debate? Doh.

I like the first stanza especially.