Monday, July 22, 2013

From the Empirical Archives: Driving by Carol V. Davis

Carol V. Davis
Originally published in the January 2013 issue of Empirical

I never did drive in Russia,
even after all those years.
The possibility of it so horrifying.
The way drivers there carve out a lane
between two others, even in city center.
Some would say it’s their right, having waited
all those years to buy a car and then having to suffer
such indignities: windshield wipers swiped at night,
even with glaring streetlights spying on you.
And the GAI, the traffic police, waving cars over
into their webs, not freeing them without a bribe.
But maybe you deserved what you got
when your car was vandalized, fool that you were
to leave those blades lying so prettily on the windshield.
Those were Soviet times.
Now there’s no waiting to buy a car, though
not everyone has that kind of cash lying around.
Still a Land Rover is pretty tempting, the lovely
wooden dashboard just asking for it, windows that smoothly glide.
Just consider the people trudging along the sidewalks
or stranded by trams that never come when
the temperature plunges below zero.
You wouldn’t want to trade places now, would you?

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