Back Seat Windows

When I was a child I would lock eyes

With other kids in the back seats of station wagons

As we hurtled down freeways

Or slowrolled through clogged streets

I would lock eyes

Trying to make some kind of psychic connection

Or anticipate a future meeting where decades later

Our eyes would remember

A moment held between us

Briefly as a hummingbird’s visit

When we were young

Looking at the world from inside the safety glass of the family car

It was easy to believe in innocence then

To think that everyone else was as safe as I was

In those days before I knew about torture

About abuse and cruelty

Frequent as the autumn rain

For too many

Now I wonder what happened to them

I try to recollect those faces

Dredged images from ripped memories

Some of those eyes must have been silently shrieking

Calling out for sympathy or salvation

Locked in rolling prisons moving closer to the next indignity

While I was worried about a music lesson I hadn’t practiced for

Or inconsequential bullshit

If I could return to those moments

I wouldn’t challenge fragile eyes with directness

I would look at you obliquely and offer you my passing tears

I would applaud you for carrying on

Holding your head up

As you looked out at a world

That held more sins than miracles

 

 

David Trudel     © 2013

 

 

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