By Jack Lynch

Stuck in the stream banks
along Buffalo Creek
in the 1980’s
they crushed cars flat
and piled them beside the water

covered a field
in rusty wafers of vaguely familiar vehicles
then later the state made them come out
and they hauled them away
in a clean water effort

but some were sunk down in the bank
and are still there today
chrome shining,
grills like gaping mouths of fish out of water
headlights that seem to wink at you

who’s grinning grill of a Chevy is this
sticking out from the creek bank?
who’s Olds love machine with the big back seat?
what fit in this little Honda
now compressed down to a flat pancake
we hope you got out in time
before the weight of the world
said a violent goodbye to your ride

what proud big fin fender hopes
what blazing chrome cowboy dreams
reside in this auto graveyard
of the retired Detroit machines
these are our exposed sins
waiting for an archeologist’s hand
to come and try to understand
our culture of use, then waste
will they stroke their chin and absolve us?

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