Your Asphalt Church
Church is done.
The hymns are sung.
The prayers lifted.
The sermon said.
The benediction has released you into the world.
You drive home,
the top of your convertible down.
Too fast you drive,
another bad habit emerging
the second you leave the altar
an utter ignoring of signs
put there for your own good.
Wind blows through the remains of your hair.
You can feel the sun on your scalp,
even at seventy. Even at more.
It is an improbably joy of an old man,
the abandonment of speed,
and the control of machine and a lifetime
on the road,
each curve a delight,
a challenge, a rejoicing
that you live in this place far away
from the enforcers of rule,
allowed to trust your reflexes and alertness.
You pass your house, and do not stop,
the glee far too much
to end quite yet.
You will return later, as darkness arrives
and the air turns cool,
but for now, there is you, the road,
and an agelessness you find few other places,
your asphalt church,
a black ribbon of eternity
full of curves and explorations,
About this poem.
I drive too fast on the country roads that surround me.
I’ve always wanted to write a poem about speeding.
When I flew past the 40 MPH sign in the picture this morning on the way to my diner after church, I laughed and the poem wrote itself before I even got my coffee.
It’s gonna be a good day.