Sunday, September 07, 2008


[Read Write Poem challenged us to rubberneck and then write about it.]


Teenage boys know they can
be seen: posing for the girls,
or mooning them.

But you, and that guy over there,
seem to have forgotten. You don't
remember that I can watch you
run your fingers through your hair.
I see you put on eye makeup at
40 miles an hour. I stare as you
run an electric razor over your chin.

I see you pick your nose and lean
over to pick up the CD you dropped.
I see your left hand gesturing and your
right hand holding the phone to
your head and I hope you are at least
steering with your knees.

Did you know I watched you turn
to talk to the small people strapped
into your back seat so that you missed
the light turning green?

I check out the newspaper propped
against your steering wheel. I see the
map you are struggling to fold into
a more manageable shape. I wonder
what book holds your attention while
you speed down the turnpike.

Did you know I memorized your
face when you kept straying over
the lines, jerking back into your lane
when the rumble strip jarred you awake?

I saw you changing your shirt after work.
At least you waited for a stop light
to change shoes. Did you know you
are not invisible inside your car?


Nathan said...

I love the details in this and the narrator's perspective "Did you know..." Great title too. This was a good read.

Lirone said...

A lovely collection of vignettes - and I do like the strength of that last line - so many people do assume that they're invisible in their cars!

gautami tripathy said...

I love the great detailing. As if I watched him myself..

what does one call it?

Sleepypete said...

Lol - so, so true. There's not much that will inspire sheer terror in me when I'm driving but the sight in the rear view mirror of someone on the phone or doing their makeup does it every time.

I've seen :
The Mom failing to control the kids
The MercMan who was reading his paper in the outside lane doing 60 in the 70 area (before rocketing past a few minutes later at 90+)
And tonight, Mr Mobile taking 10 minutes to do a "Hi Honey, traffics bad, see you later"

I like my satnav - I used to struggle with a list of directions in Big Letters on a piece of paper. However, Satnav takes all the fun out of being lost :-)

Kimberlee said...

I don't know where you live, but it sounds like we have commuted along the same stretches of road. I think this is a great description of the horrors that we have to see on a regular basis. :)

Anonymous said...

great vignettes!

have you been watching me??

christine said...

All the observations the narrator makes, catching people unawares. Funny, and clever.

twitches said...

I agree; I love the inclusion of minute, mundane details. Nicely done.

sister AE said...

Thanks, Nathan.

Hello, Lirone. I started with the invisible line earlier in the poem, but decided I liked it better at the end.

Hi, Gautami. thanks!

Thanks, Sleepypete. "Mr Mobile" - I love it. I have friends who have named their GPS devices. On named hers "Penelope."

Hi, Kimberlee. I'm afraid we're on opposite sides of the continent but I think this is pretty universal in urban areas these days.

Hello, artpredator. I'm usually the passenger, so yes, of course, I'm watching!

Thanks, christine.

Hi, twiches, and thanks.

susan said...

I get so annoyed with these folks who concentrate on everything but driving! Like this.

sister AE said...

Thanks, susan. In our cars, it is the job of the passenger to gawk so that the driver can concentrate on driving. we think that is a fair division of labor. if only more people did that!

Jo said...

I've thought this so often, that sense people have that they are invisible as they pick their the cars have smoked glass windows. Very nicely done.

sister AE said...

Hi, Jo. Thanks.

Maria said...

Oh, yes...can't believe how many nose pickers there are out there driving around in their cars...

sister AE said...

Hello, Maria. - When I pay attention, I'm happy when nose-pickers is the worst I see!