You are the one who blesses our way (keeping it safe
by night and day) and who blesses, by extension,
the sweet lover who happens to be our driver. You
are the original bleeding heart, the vivid painting
showing thorns snug on the ventricles, Your gaze able
to follow anyone from whichever angle, as any
perceptive child would notice—as if to say in no uncertain
terms, “God knows Hudas not pay.” But if by any
chance the crucifix (swinging to the rhythm of the
pendulous head of a dog or the waving hand of a
golden cat) is any clue to the roots of reality, of course
we all know who ultimately pays.
Meanwhile, on this side of eternity, it remains a
disappointment how seating capacity is not really about
seating, how it riles every self-respecting passenger
capable of counting that all too often, two or more things
are made to occupy the same space at the same time.
How the posted minimum fare and no-smoking sign
are sometimes simply decorative.
On this side, where the commerce of man meets the
economy of God, our madnesses, faith, and superstitions
mix, here with the request to please pay in coins in the
morning, to wear seat belts and segregate trash,
to vacate seats for the pregnant and disabled, and all the
other republic acts that make for good memorizing in
quizzes but somehow fall perennially short of making
our nation more than the metaphorical reference of an
old repurposed vehicle whose checkup has been
overdue for more than a decade.
But maybe from a wider view the reference is not just to
us as a people but to us as a race. Maybe Your traveling mercies
are for everyone, so that even if Your pictures often
function only as lucky charms, if anyone ever asks where
God was in the frustrations, the crises, and the tedious
uneventfulness, at least one could say with certainty
he was there all along, right with us on the ride.