Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday Poetry: May Swenson

In the spirit of An Inconvenient Truth, on which I'll post shortly, I present one of my favorite poems from sixth grade that sounds even more sinister now.

May Swenson
Southbound on the Freeway

A tourist came in from Orbitville,
parked in the air, and said:

The creatures of this star
are made of metal and glass.

Through the transparent parts
you can see their guts.

Their feet are round and roll
on diagrams of long

measuring tapes, dark
with white lines.

They have four eyes.
The two in back are red.

Sometimes you can see a five-eyed
one, with a red eye turning

on the top of his head.
He must be special--

the others respect him
and go slow

when he passes, winding
among them from behind.

They all hiss as they glide,
like inches, down the marked

tapes. Those soft shapes,
shadowy inside

the hard bodies--are they
their guts or their brains?


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