by Alan Walowitz
Three generations of a Bronx family died Sunday when a speeding SUV carrying seven people — including three little girls — vaulted off an overpass and plunged 60 feet into the Bronx Zoo, killing everyone in the car.
–NY Daily News, April 30, 2012
most days I travel south on the Parkway
never even see the Bronx River though my mom says,
she took me fishing once I was a kid
and this time of night can’t see nothing
even if there’s water down there–
–the el’s on my east,
but a train hardly comes
and on the west’s the zoo where I hardly go
now that I’m always nights
but tell you the truth,
I could stand to calm there an hour some day.
Ten bucks for parking’s a joke
considering what I make–
then I get close to the place
where the minivan drove crazy,
hit the Jersey barrier,
then flew high over the iron rail
and into a part of the zoo they don’t use no more–
good thing no one was below,–
traffic slows to a crawl looking and looking
though it’s already two days old
and this ain’t some pisshole
where nothing happens, this is the Bronx.
The spot marked in red where it went flying
and there’s a bunch of plastic flowers on the side
and a photo-guy is carrying his boxy camera
on a path along the Parkway
and what looks like a regular Bronx guy,
cool in camouflage, is leaning over the rail
to look down, but don’t know why–
the van’s gone,
the abuelas and niñas gone,
the mother who was driving and the titi gone.
I’m no rubber neck; I just want to drive, get home,
but the people that got to look they look
and make it stop-and-go and dangerous as hell for me,
and what, I’m not gonna slow down and look?
and, God, those kids, such a long way down.
Jesus, Lord God, in heaven
will you only look down sometimes
and take the goddamn time to
Alan Walowitz is a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an Online Community Journal of Poetry. His chapbook, Exactly Like Love, comes from Osedax Press. The full-length, The Story of the Milkman and Other Poems, is available from Truth Serum Press. Most recently, from Arroyo Seco Press, is the chapbook In the Muddle of the Night, written both trans-continentally, and mostly remotely, with poet Betsy Mars.