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  • Shaun McMichael

Rush Hour Broadcast of the Advent Children's Hour

by Shaun McMichael

Driving home in the deluge,

a deluge inside is driving me,

unknown at work, unknown by the other drivers,

unknown by the cold, carrying claws of my car—

one in a school of steel pods surging like steel-

head in a current, arching with the bridge

over the waters, breaking in pulses

of red light and despair, each car, a fish

encasing an unknown soul. Voices.

Invisible waves bring young voices.

Enduring through the downpour, they sing

in a language they do not know

about a Christmas tree.

I can smell the incense of its boughs

and see its baubles, though in the deluge,

I can no longer see the road.

There’s a gridlock of the heart

that persists when the cars have all come home.

A cathedral looms. The moon shines

through its arched windows. The fallen

rain has settled into its walls. Inside is a silence

that the songs do not deny

but confirm.

Even after we’ve turned off our engines

and our lights, and the highway

is a dry riverbed running through ruins,

we are all trying to get there

in time to hear the silence

which we believe is the hush before a song

in which each of our voices can flow,

carried, driving. In unison,

heard and known.

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