And to Think That I Saw It On the Drive to Mount Vernon!

(With apologies for mine  to you know wheuuusss…)

I was driving, on a Sunday,
in my car, down Maple Street,
anticipating conversation
with good friends
I sped to meet,
When I spied a cheery figure,
her magenta hair in rows,
and her boisterous sky-blue tunic
topping vibrantly pink hose.
She clutched a fuzzy puppy;
she had her neon laces loose
And I thought her a creation
from the pages of Doc Seuss.

It occurred to me
as I sped by
my Hyundai’s wheels a-turnin’
That I never know
what I might see
while driving to Mount Vernon.

Down by the mall
I saw a man
A pullin’ on a cart
emblazoned with a Bible verse
to chill the sinner’s heart.
He pulled the cart
He marched along
Flags, behind, unfurled.
Stared straight ahead,
His visage grim,
A message for the world.

Cart man.jpg

I drove on past
that messenger
his public passion burnin’
There really is a lot to see
While driving to Mount Vernon.

And then I left the busy streets,
Turned onto country roads
All empty but occasional
big trucks with
heavy loads.
In a clearing,
on my left,
old schoolhouse, sagging roof.
A bent-back building where once,
I think,
young scholars sought their truth
Ghosts of teacher, rowdy kids,
A bit of history crumbles
on the roadway to
Mount Vernon.


I passed an old Impala
that was Pepto-Bismol hued,
and a confederate-flag-decked
pick up truck:
rear-view message, RUDE.
And I passed a sky-blue Prius–
bumper sticker: “Co-Exist.”
And I guessed that Mr. Pick-Up Guy
Would read that,
and be pissed.

Truck better

So I saw a lot of slogans
Presenting varied
bents and turnin’s.
There’s LOTS to notice
if I look
while drivin’ to Mount Vernon.

And I passed some country churches.
Some just humble.
Some, big-steepled.
And it was Sunday morning, after all:
those places were well-peopled.
And I like to read
the signs out front.
One offered,
“Baked steak supper!”
Another told me
Jesus is
The Quicker Picker-Upper.


Quite unsure
what that
meant to mean,
I hoped
the steak-bakers
had great earnings,
and I pondered different kinds of faith
As I was drivin’ to Mount Vernon.

I rounded a curve, slid windows up:
the air was getting muggy.
And it was getting sort of perfumed, too,
behind an Amish buggy.
The girls and women,
headed for church,
their horse, sedately clopping.
But up ahead,
the men raced fast,–
one on horseback.
They weren’t stopping.


I zigged and I zagged
past horse-propelled folk,
past wooden cart wheels
I saw many different
modes of life
While drivin’ to Mount Vernon.

And so I arrived a little late;
those sights had made me pokey.
I tumbled out to talk about
Michelle Obama’s karaoke
and well-read books
and recipes
and thoughts on faith and living,
About leaky pipes
and petty gripes
(these dear friends are forgiving.)

The talk meandered, rich and deep,
just what I’d been yearnin’;
A wonderful gift,
a great reward,
for drivin’ to Mount Vernon.