The Kids Who Never Saw It Coming

She picked us up on a firetruck-
Banana yellow, 1968 metal, the chariot of Dionysus-
topped by twenty thirty-somethings,
hollering, howling like wolves at the moon
until we took steel steps
under our feet and claimed our ride
through the streets of San Francisco.

It was she, Wendee, the glittered pixie
with the birthday crown,
who picked us like wild flowers,
who fed us red wine,
who pulled tears from our eyes
as we slid down
the Haight/Ashbury slopes.

And it was we, Matt and me,
who agreed to see the stoplight change,
who missed the bus at Market Street,
who ran away to California-
for just ten days-
to float up the west coast
with haphazard planning.

Had we set out
with a map and soldier’s steps,
always marching to our destination,
our second to catch
a chariot at sunset
might have been missed,
leaving Matt and I resigned,
designed to believe
there is no room for magic in the world.

Instead we made a space for mystery,
allowing us to bear witness
to a city sun that dares to shine
until the last possible moment,
and wants the sky because he owns it,
until the moon, big and blue,
pushes through a black lagoon
to bring white light to the night-
something the sun can’t do.

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