Friday, April 16, 2010

napowrimo # 16

The prompt is to let smell help you remember, and guide your writing. A stau is the unexpected slowing of high speed autobahn traffic, eventually bringing all vehicles to a stop. Although there can be many reasons, what causes a stau is often never known.


We’re stopped,
a wobbled double line of us,
bad pop art caught
while trying to escape,
between earth and moon.

We turn off our engines,
morning heat fills our small spaces.
I lower my window -
a surprise rush of pine tar,
dried grass, something fecal, and
a bird’s song.

What – birds on the autobahn?
Are they always here to intrude,
if only we could hear them?
But we are the intruders, for they
have a tree and a grainy field,
and there’s a farm house,
a woman working in her garden.
She stands and shields her eyes
peering at the phenomenon of us.

Leave your car, she calls to me.
Step over the barrier,
walk through the field,
feel the rough ground under your thin soles,
kneel beside me and work with marigolds, yellow
and soft in the black soil, a pungency of flower
and earth on your fingers. Let the soil’s soul
sift into yours, dark and living.
Your mother kept a bed of marigolds;
she needed them, but you forgot that.

The cars ahead
start their engines,
windows slide shut,
AC kicks in,
radios resume their noise,
we pick up speed.

            Wanda McCollar


  1. wanda, the stau is an interesting phenom... i like the idea of leaving one's car for a walk thru the fields... tabac infusion

  2. Nice work, Wanda!

    "a surprise rush of pine tar,
    dried grass, something fecal, and
    a bird’s song."


  3. Like your mother,I think we all need marigolds

  4. I love that surprise that there are birds.