I turn onto Schooners Drive.
A few blocks in, I see black smoke
billowing across the road, not down low
where it might impede traffic,
but high like a black cloud
hoping no one will notice,
and it looks like no one does.
Drivers hasten past the fire that’s burning
junk cars at a scrap metal yard.
Flames easy to see, yet no fire trucks
have arrived. No sound of approaching sirens.
It looks like no one has reported the blaze.
There’s no place to pull over.
I keep driving while I call 9-1-1
on my hands-free phone,
feel less than helpful when
I cannot tell the dispatcher
the exact address I have driven past.
Just turn onto Schooners Drive from
Norton Boulevard, I say. The smoke
is easy to see.
I don’t understand why no one else
has called it in, why no one else
can see a hundred car bodies
burning by the side of a busy road.
Fran Abrams has had poems published in Cathexis-Northwest Press and Bourgeon Online among others. Her poems appear in eight anthologies, including This is What America Looks Like, Washington Writers Publishing House, 2021. In 2019, she read at Houston Poetry Fest and at DiVerse Gaithersburg (MD) Poetry Reading Series.