The Car at 3 am – a poem by David Chorlton

The Car at 3 am

The three o’clock darkness is thick
enough to stir. Interrupted dreams
fly up to roost
in the attics of houses
along the street where a car
feels its way slowly to the point
at which it must turn back
into the land of wakefulness.
The animals who descend

from the mountain after dusk
are threading their way
between our sleeping lives.
They are ancient
in a city edging toward the future
without knowing which god
to follow. There are so many

books, and a different answer
in each one; the driver
cannot know which direction to take
as the headlights burn
holes in the silence. The unsolved

mysteries surround him. He is
undecided. The GPS system
doesn’t apply to Heaven or Hell.
But it’s beautiful here; waiting
for the desert slopes to rise
into the light at dawn; listening for
the first bird to call out
that he is still alive.

David Chorlton is a transplanted European, who has lived in Phoenix since 1978. His poems have appeared in many publications online and in print, and reflect his affection for the natural world. His newest book publication is Shatter the Bell in my Ear, his translations of poems by Austrian poet Christine Lavant.

 

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