Neo Nativity


Metal ghosts of Detroits best;
held together by rust and secrets,
stacked five high, squashed and bent,
each holds memories-
good times in their back seats,
family trips to the shore,
drive-in movies,
kids sleeping in the back
on the ride home from Christmas.

They may not be pretty
but they do provide shelter.
They cut the wind
and block the rain,
so she cowered beneath a wall of them.
Face illuminated by lightning
and pain
she pulled him close;
this man, Jose, who agreed,
she clutches at him
and wears his strength.

No scratch for a motel,
no rooms to be had anyway,
and the Mustang died
a couple of miles outside of town.
The walk here in the rain
was the least fun she could recall,
until her water broke,
joining the squalor at her feet
and the labor began in earnest.

The moment is real
and as near as her next breath,
the pain that grips her
steals that breath,
then gives it back in a rushing whoosh.
She births, as women have done
for millennia,
but she does it
in this mechanical graveyard.

A few moments of agony later,
Maria was a mother,
and her life had now taken a new direction.
When the sky finally cleared
she rocked her new son,
wrapped in a polyvinyl tarp,
and watched a single brilliant star
flare to life over her head.

©2010 Christopher Reilley

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