This Vehicle Of Mercy And Salvation - Poem by Maya Stein
So this is where we are,7: 38 on a Tuesday evening, and somewhere in the distance - we can hear it cross town - is an ambulance, spiraling its wail into the streets. Make way, it's saying. The boys down the block make freethrows. We make tacos for dinner. The dog makes a beeline for the water bowl. The dishwasher makes barely any noise. The day makes the evening. Later, I hope, we will make love. But right now, right now, I am thinking of the swivel of those bright lights, the alarm of a white van going through stop signs on its way to saving a life, and I am thinking of the one who made the phone call to summon this vehicle of mercy and salvation, and I am thinking of the driver with his hands precise on the wheel, and I am thinking of the straggler shoppers coming out of the automatic swing doors of the supermarket, gripping their plastic bags as they wait for the all-clear, and I am thinking of the checkers inside making change, and the kid who makes a prize emerge from toy machine with his father's quarters, and the father who makes himself look only at his son while the drama wages inches from the glass. Eventually, the scene disperses, and everyone makes their way home. In front of our house, one of the boys makes 7 in a row, the day's new record. I make a promise to myself: Make a poem of this life. Read it again and again and again.
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