Scott Withiam

Separate Cars
June 23, 2020 Withiam Scott

Separate Cars


Just happens is what I fear most. A couple grown insular,
nasty, picky over the years. I’ve seen them out there.
In separate cars, they run into each other, so to speak,
at the Costco intersection, wave. No getting right to who leads
or follows home. Doesn’t matter anymore. Some consolation,
I guess. Once home, they must at least unpack together,
put up, so to speak, an overabundance of dry goods
into cupboards, the pantry, and perishables into the fridge—
more than enough to last, though maybe that strikes a need
to bring up that animal incident I saw on my own return
home. They saw it, too. In different cars, right behind me,
at the same light by Steadman Funeral Parlor, waiting
for the green, they witnessed the hawk rifling through ivy
smothering the parlor’s brick wall. Unmoved, both thought
Winter: the hawk in desperate pursuit of any food, so going
for easy prey. Then the terrified sparrow burst from the vines;
then the hawk, pressing, closing from behind
till the sparrow’s final turn, its outmaneuvering. It sailed
through higher, tight-fingered branches. The hawk couldn’t fit,
veered, energy too low, instinctively gave up. And for them,
perhaps, not driven too far or too long to say how much
they loved the whole show, they’d almost forgotten.

Scott Withiam’s second book of poetry, Door Out of the Underworld, was published by MadHat Press in October 2019. His poems are forthcoming in Barrow Street, Tampa Review, and I-70 Review.