Car and trucks approach from my left.
I see a dip in each roof:
A red Honda, a yellow Morris, a white Taurus,
Even a huge tractor-trailer.
As traffic slowly passes on the street
I watch from my table
In Starbucks’ sidewalk café.
As each car or truck crawls or lumbers
directly before me
I see its roof. become level until
Slowly moving past me, to my right,
each roof collapses on its left,
And bulges on its right as if inside
Even the Morris were nine clowns or maybe more
Planning to debark in the center ring
Under the tent of a very large circus.
In a Volvo on the Capitol Beltway
I ask my friend, who is driving,
Whether the spires on the monumental
Mormon temple ahead on the right
Are straight or wavy.
She takes her eyes off the road for a second,
Looks at me in the shotgun seat
And says “Straight, of course.”
They look wavy to me, I tell her.
I have lost sight of the world of straight lines,
The verticals, horizontals, and angular corners.
You would not want me as your
Engineer or architect.
But if your view of the world
Is too straight and narrow,
And you’re looking for wild and wavy lines
I am your woman.
An Ambler grid—a small sheet of graph paper—
Is used to detect eye damage—macular degeneration.
Wavy lines are the sign.
Another sign: when cars compress
And the whole world looks like a circus.
Marguerite Beck-Rex –