Honking at the cemetery

Ray Gonzalez

· Poem of the day

Honking at the cemetery

He drove his drunk buddies into

the cemetery one night, parked his car

in the middle of the gravestones,

their giggles stopping when he honked

the horn in the middle of the dead,

pressed his elbow into the metal ring

on the steering wheel and signaled

to his father to rise from the ground

and whip him again, his friends begging

him to start the engine and get them

out of there when they heard something

call back, not a shout or a scream,

but a note from an ancient instrument.

He claimed, later, he honked all the way,

drove slowly down the path between

the markers, the sound they heard

in the trees not the dying echo from

his horn. He paused at the gates,

looked both ways before entering

the highway to deliver the boys,

dodging the oncoming lights at

the last second the way the old man

taught him during moments between

fathers and sons when every blinding

beam in their eyes counts.

—Ray Gonzalez (Bio)

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