You know how the world comes at you like that?
You’re driving down some tree-lined street
with Vivaldi or Corelli
lilting their way from the radio.
The sun casting prisms on the leaves,
the leaves easy in their fall.
All questions have quieted.
You are convinced that even the asphalt is happy
to be what it is: solid, stoic, the backbone of a day.
Up ahead the next three lights are green,
you are passing the school yard at St. Paul’s
and all the kids in their blue and green uniforms
are bright angels, bearers of light.
There goes Stone Way Cleaners where they are steaming and pressing,
steaming and pressing just for you. The world is stuck
on go, proceed, avanti. No one could imagine
how enlightened you’ve become
in the cabin of your car, on the rim of tears
with your velocity of awe, your clarity at the wheel,
your rapid rolling toward some small truth, on and on like that.
Tina Schumann’s poem “Autumn” originally appeared in Harpur Palate. Her manuscript As If (Parlor City Press) was awarded the Stephen Dunn Poetry Prize for 2010. Her work was a finalist in the 2011 National Poetry Series. She received the 2009 American Poet Prize from The American Poetry Journal and honorable mentions in The Atlantic Monthly 2008 Poetry Contest as well as the 2010 Crab Creek Review contest. She is a Pushcart nominee and holds an MFA from Pacific Lutheran University. Her poems have appeared in various publication including The American Poetry Journal, Ascent, Cimarron Review, PALABRA, PARABOLA, Poemeleon, Raven Chronicles and San Pedro River Review. She lives in Seattle.