by Roland King
a "Downtown Poem"
|It looks very out of place
Beat up, a tan so faded
that it matches what might
be mud caked on its pinstripes.
It could be that the paint has faded from
the last twenty cross-country marathons,
but close up one can see the pinstriping wasn’t thrown on like
spattered chocolate batter. Yes it’s mud.
I’ve never heard of a Starstream RV and this one
certainly made its maiden voyage
at least a decade
before yours truly was born.
Which is why this four-wheeled fantasy creature
from another realm is so very odd sitting at a curbside
parking meter in the heart of midtown Sacramento.
Yes out of place
out of time
(literally as the electronic parking meter flashes red)
out of date
and even out of character.
Cobwebs should not be gathering around the tires.
The wind should be fluttering the worn-out mud flaps
hanging like ragged hippie hair.
The grille should be rattling on the open road
while she maintains a shuddering but somehow even-keeled 75
like a veteran barfly who inexplicably manages to
stagger out the door
in a surprisingly straight line,
ten minutes and ten shots before closing time.
And above all the tires should be kicking up dust
as from the hooves of horses in the closing sunset of every Western.
But instead it sits stoically
(or perhaps dumbfounded)
curbside to Sutter’s Fort, where signs casually
suggest “This building is historically significant!”
Significance seems relative here.