Thursday, February 1, 2018

Michigan Green Cab--A Eulogy

Dante was a cab driver.
He didn't have a lot to say--
pretty silent like the front coming in
or the energy efficient cab he drove.  

Dante kept a log--
place and time of pick-up,
place and time of drop-off,
miles traveled,
fare;
a whole day's work in neat lines and figures. 

Some drivers ask people questions,
talk about the sports teams,
or swing their arm across the back of the empty front passenger seat,
about an inch from your knees.
Some show up early, when you're still hopping around
with a heel in one hand and your phone in the other.
Others worry you, 
stopping for coffee or Red Bull,
showing up late and putting you past your time.

Dante liked living on his own,
down the block from the car wash.
No wife telling him to turn off the tv
or saying "we have to talk." 
No kids squabbling, bringing home trouble.
Nobody dropping in unannounced.

Every day, the roads could be depended upon
to be where they were the day before:
Walter P. Reuther Expressway,
Southfield Road,
Woodward Avenue,
8 Mile Road, Detroit side, suburb side.

He had a schedule--
don't ask him to switch shifts.
He had his log book
and lunch at 1 o'clock.
Last run as the sun goes down,
earth spinning slowly, 
dispatch taking the calls.

Dante will be glad enough to see Jesus, I expect,
as long as He has the good sense to ride quiet
and know where he wants to go.
_______

for Izy's Out of Standard challenge--Eulogy For A Stranger

12 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

You describe him so well, i can actualy see him, sombre, olive-skinned, brooding, clean-shaven. Awesome.

Toni Spencer said...

Wow. Dante is a cab driver...I had a sous chef once that sounds like Dante. No drama, not fussing, just straight one everything in a line...mise en place. Excellent write.i like Dante.

Toni said...

Great description. I think I knew Dante!

WildChild47 said...

Gripping - and you had me laughing in disbelief, the sheer incredulity of Dante being a cab driver. That's (insert string of swear words, if permitted here) brilliant!

And the ending - now THAT is absolute poetry - and poetic justice!

Isadora Gruye said...

Those last lines land so well, almost as if they are opening a door to another poem. The narrative flow is tight here, with all your classic storytelling traits. I would like to hang out with Dante....the sort of hang out that involves not talking at all, just squinting together in silence. Well done and viva la!!!!

Old Egg said...

Had one or two taxi drivers like that. In fact I prefer them like that! Beautifully written with a calm narrative voice that I felt I could hear.

Susie Clevenger said...

Love it...Dante and Jesus...Just get in, give me an address and take a silent ride.

Brendan MacOdrum said...

Takes one to know one -- we write our comedies to keep the world at large.

brudberg said...

I can see him... the kind that never talks (but probably listens well)... just live his life and watch TV... I think I would like to have him as my driver.

bell(e) jar(s) said...

Oh, Shay, this is fabulous! I especially like the Jesus section at the end, and this:

"Some show up early, when you're still hopping around
with a heel in one hand and your phone in the other.
Others worry you, 
stopping for coffee or Red Bull,
showing up late and putting you past your time."

Kerry O'Connor said...

Fiction aside, I like the whole premise of a solitary man having made enough of an impression to garner such a moving eulogy at his demise. This speaks of a life of simple purpose.

Margaret said...

The character study here is genius. Lets hope Jesus fits into his schedule book. :)