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When We Miss the Bus

“We’re late!” the girls say,
and your own precise plans race
out the door while all the penalties
you can perceive loom and merge.

You’re quiet driving into it, measuring
the miles and the chores ahead, the hum
of the heater and the highway background
for one anxiety after another, passing on all sides

Then you see the sun rise.
You can’t avoid it: straight ahead
blocking the traffic, brightening
the day in spite of you.

And waking to other realities like these
passengers trying to stay warm,
you offer the first word, a feeble attempt, entirely
unoriginal — you’ve been down this road before –

(And yet again, the trees catch fire, the road
shakes and splits: traffic is redirected.)
“Look at that” is somehow enough to say.
“It’s a beautiful day.”