To the Teen in Front of Me

It happened again Tuesday; I’m driving along and see a young driver in front of me with his window rolled down, hand waving out the window.  No rude gesture or anything, just a hand, or maybe a casual elbow.  Other times, I’ll see the passenger stick a bare foot out the right window as well.   Youth makes me uneasy at times.  I wrote a poem about it a few years ago.  Here it is:

TO THE TEEN IN FRONT OF ME

Pull your thoughtless elbow back inside the car,

Your heedless foot and foolish head.

Stop waving to your friends.

Roll up the window; turn down the music.

You are driving down a boulevard of questions,

Where letters peer around corners and hide in trees.

They refuse to spell out the sign

That would tell you where you are going.

Keep both hands on the wheel;

Check your rear view mirror often.

Questions tail you;

They swerve and nearly sideswipe you,

Or they pull out from side streets

Right in front of you.

They are dangerous but stupid.

They barely know how to ask themselves,

Let alone imply those answers

You don’t even know you lack.

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