This poem, along with visual art by Lisa Sette, is the latest offering from Broadsided Press. (See links.)

The Car Covenant

O give us individual mobility and daily we will embrace death.
Give us miles to the gallon and things made small by moving swiftly away.
We will sacrifice certain teenagers to the oak tree.

Make the sunrise manifest in the sideview and the periphery a roar of shouldercorn.
Make our existence portable beyond the white picket fence with internal combustion.
Ours will be the Kerouac and the Conoco, those empty shells of orangegreen HoJos.

Give us eternal direction divided by nice green strips, the whirring sound of pistonbirth.
Make the miles a whetstone to our way, the highmetal quick to the skyheavy horizon.
We will aisle it with junk and liquid drug, with the sacrament of Big Mac and more gas.

Make us in you all ergonomic and airconditioned, arrive us deodored and relieved, ready
whenever to leave.
Take us fast into the samemore, diminish everything left behind us.
We will eat the doubleyellow in the blackscreennight.

We will go wakka wakka wakka,
O sing, wakka wakka wakka.

Poet Robert Strong lives north of the Adirondack park and bikes to work year round. He is editor of Joyful Noise: An Anthology of American Spiritual Poetry and author of Puritan Spectacle, from which this poem is adapted.

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  1. Richard, I wish I had had that poem for DRIVE, THEY SAID, my Milkweed driving anthology. It’s a good one. Makes me shudder and laugh. Not bad for a poem. Kurt