License Renewal


A crisp morning at that Secretary of State.

A small group stands in line: 6 minutes to 9.

I waited as long as I thought prudent, wanting a good spot toward the front – time being of the essence..

First in line is a bent over lady with a tripod cane. She is being harangued by a hooded figure a few people back. “Do you need to renew your license?!” says a gravelly voice from under a black hood. “No..” she says “Get it out and check!” commands the hood. She plants her cane, puts down her purse, bends even further…

A lady with a walker and plastic wrap-around sunglasses arrives. She starts talking with the young man ahead of her. “I’ve got post-polio.. I had polio but now I’ve got post polio..” “nobody had to tell me to quit drivin’. Put your foot down on the gas and have to lift it up with both hands; Who’s drivin’?!” She laughs. The young man is solicitous; talks about how his mom needed a walker on account of bad foot surgery…

A woman gets out of a large, new, idling, SUV. Her blonde hair is neat and pulled back. Two little girls pile out, followed by a teen with Down’s syndrome. The girls play up and down the line while he looks quietly at the people.

A beautiful Hispanic woman hands something to someone in line and turns to her car as bluejays erupt noisily from a tall pine.


having gathered

and disbursed

Like this series of moments


now quietly

in the boundless lucidity

through which they have flown.

Ahead the line shifts..
the door clicks open…