Morning Commute

At the Washington and Crenshaw stoplight, Wednesday morning.
In my rearview mirror the black girl in the car behind me dances in the drivers seat.
She jumps rope, raises the roof, boogies down.
I want to ask her what station she’s listening to.
I don’t think it’s retro disco on KCRW.
The sun is out, the air is mild, they say it’ll go up to 70 today.
At the freeway off-ramp, the homeless vet is at his post, cardboard sign in hand.
The bus stops are populated, with men in dress slacks and hoodies, and stocky women with dark stockings and skirts that don’t quite cover their knees.
On Jefferson, the leaves of the tall palm trees glitter in the sun.
A man sits, still as statues, on the wall by the church, another stands at the barbershop door, waiting for some business to attend to.
I’m not usually out on the street in the mornings, but today I am.
In my car, among all the other cars, I’m part of it–I’m going somewhere, I have a plan.
For a few moments I have a sense of hope and possibility rooted in nothing
but the brightness of the light, the freshness of the air, the newness of the day.

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