Talking on the phone


Old Cadillacs
Collected in: Talking in the Dark


Who would have guessed they would end this way,
rubbing shoulders with old Scouts and pickups
at the laundromat, smoothing out frost heaves


all the way home? Once cherished for their style,
they are now valued for use, their back seats
full of kids, dogs steaming their windows; yet this


is the life they have wanted all along, to let go
of their flawless paint jobs and carry cargoes
of laundry and cheap groceries down no-name roads,


wearing bumper stickers that promise Christ
until they can travel no more and take their places
in backyards, far from the heated garages


of the rich who rejected them, among old tires
and appliances and chicken wire, where the poor
keep each one, dreaming, perhaps, of a Cadillac


with parts so perfect it might lift past sixty
as if not touching the earth at all, as if to pass
through the eye of a needle and roll into heaven.



Photograph: Rusting Cadillac, Sanford, Maine