Sestina to the Smiths

Poem by Samuel Anthony

In their car of laughing men and music,

They hurdled along the empty road,

Too far below the starlit sky.

Through glass sheets of window laced by frost,

They never saw the truck of ten tons

Or its slanted eyes that shone blasts of light.


The air was struck by the light

Of a rush of fire laced in frost.

And the bodies on the road,

Who were struck by a force of ten tons

Whose ears still rang with music

Even farther below the starlit sky.


The sound could’ve never reached the sky,

Even if it came from a truck of ten tons.

The eighteen wheels were embroidered with frost,

And the sheets of metal on one another made music,

From which one could see sparks of light

Not far above the guilty road.


A young woman far away beside the road

Wouldn’t take a look at the starlit sky

And hear the metallic music.

But she’d turn back to the gas station’s light,

And watch the windows covered by frost,

And wonder, where is that truck of ten tons?


But the ambulance would see the truck of ten tons,

As it played its own desperate music.

And off the scarlet puddles it would shine its light,

And sit alone on the great red road,

As far as could be from the starlit sky,

Splattered with limbs of frost.


The men stepped from the ambulance of frost,

And held out their black rods of yellow light,

Which washed over the red truck of ten tons.

The little stars came down from the sky,

And held their hand along the road,

And led them to the men who played no music.


And no longer did light shine down from the sky,

Not on the bodies laced with frost on the sparkling road,

Who were hit by a ten ton truck, as they played their music.

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