At A Red Light

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At A Red Light

Published In: Slow Trains Literary Journal, Spring 2010

©2010 Susan Milchman

She steals your breath away,

while you are unaware,

of everything.

In a blink, at a red light, through the window

of a dark blue mustang.

Her hair flows like liquid wheat

down around her bronzed shoulders;

brilliant, golden strands of sun,

like tiny sacrifices laid out for the Gods.

She turns in your direction and it is

suddenly possible that your mother

is not dying of cancer.

Her lips are full and pink, sweet bites

of cotton candy, that softly beckon

your forgotten boyhood fantasies.

She lets you borrow her smile and

tilts her head back, knowing,

that you are changed.

You envision making her pancakes

on a cold, winter morning; whisking

devotion and years of serenity into the batter.

You nibble on her grace while sipping

orange juice, and marvel that time has not

siphoned an ounce from her wellspring

of beauty.

Then you remember that you have to pick

up the dry cleaning.

Somewhere, a baby cries, salt is spilled, and

the glistening back of a whale breaks

the silence of the sea.


The light turns green.

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