honk your horn

My car’s wheels hug the highway as we curl towards town;
this is where we slow down, where fields dwindle
and houses grow. The day wraps sun around me and, after
a long winter, my batteries charge.

On that cross street, you know, the one right outside of town,
a minivan idles and a boy hangs out from a side window like a centaur.
From this far away I can still see his grin
and he pumps his arm in the air, the universal–isn’t it?–sign to honk your horn.

My brothers and I walk over a highway bridge every day.
We leave early enough so that we can stop. Drop our backpacks.
We lean over the railing. Raise our arms.
Pump them with glee.
Grins on our faces, we wait for trucks to honk.

There is always at least one trumpeting call amid the blur
of cars and trucks hurtling toward somewhere not here.

Every time we hear that sound, relief and gratitude course
through our nerves and we scream our excitement.

My car leans; I hit the horn; the boy grins wider;
my car volleys on. I don’t think he could see me grin and, maybe,
probably, I could not truly see his grin. But he knows the call.
I know the response. The joy just happens.


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