MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN: MILWAUKEE PEOPLE

BY ED MAKOWSKI

Screenshot 2016-07-07 11.46.07This poem is part of the Great Lakes Review’s Narrative Map project.

We got

9 inches of snow

after 4 was predicted.

 

While driving home from work

I pulled over to the side,

knowing I’d get stuck,

but a black Chrysler

was beached in the intersection

spinning nowhere.

 

I started pushing on their trunk

then two other people

scampered up to lean in

and soon they were sliding away.

 

You don’t thank the other strangers

who also push a stranger’s

car out of the snow,

more nod and smile

at having completed

an unpreferable task

together.

 

My car was beached

on the 9 inches of snow

so I grabbed my shovel from the backseat

and started shoveling out

underneath my front bumper,

around the front tires,

under the doors.

 

then from behind

I heard a man’s voice suggest

that I get in and try, he’d push.

 

I turned toward the voice, then said,

“Oh hey Tony.”

 

He looked at me for a second,

“Oh hi Ed.”

 

Chuckling into the driver’s seat,

 

while tossing the snow shovel

on the passenger seat floor,

 

that I have the kind of friends

who offer to help

before they recognize you.

 

Ed Makowski is a poet and writer living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He writes and edits at a nature center and makes drinks at a tiki bar. Ed prefers two wheels to four, but it’s really nice to drive in a car throughout winter. edmakowski.com

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