Vox Populi

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Carolyn Miller: Sunset on the 38 Geary

Each face staring straight ahead, no one speaking, 

each rider holding the day carefully, like an egg, 

past the piroshki bakeries, past the restaurants 

selling pho and bulgoki and Shanghai dumplings 

and carnitas, past the Church of the Star of the Sea 

on the long blocks of the Outer Lands, 

concrete-covered sand dunes reaching out

to the Pacific and the blinding sunset light.

When the bus stops to let the people embark and

disembark, it makes a sound like baby wolves

howling at the moon. We drive on west, into

the sun. Each time the back door opens

it makes a sound like waterfowl

lifting from a lake. And we are hopeful,

even the old ones who struggle up the steps

to slowly ease into the seats reserved for them

and for the injured, and the young ones who think

they never will be old, for we believe that we will be delivered, 

that we will be transported in our earthly bodies,

traveling as we are toward Avalon, the Island of the Blest,

with its golden apples and its lake of fire.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Miller. From Route 66 And Its Sorrows (Terrapin, 2017).

Carolyn Miller grew up in the Missouri Ozarks. Today she lives in San Francisco, where she writes, paints, and works as a free-lance copy editor.

Carolyn Miller

9 comments on “Carolyn Miller: Sunset on the 38 Geary

  1. matthewjayparker
    May 1, 2023

    I moved to the Bay area a year and a half ago and to San Francisco just this month. The poem is thus deliciously apropos…


    • Vox Populi
      May 2, 2023

      Yes, the poet describes the life of the city so exuberantly.



  2. Rose Mary Boehm
    May 1, 2023

    “each rider holding the day carefully, like an egg, ”

    oh, yes…


  3. Diane
    May 1, 2023

    As someone who lived 36 years in San Francisco, I really enjoyed this!


    • Vox Populi
      May 1, 2023

      She captures the textures of the city, doesn’t she?



  4. Bosselaar Laure-Anne
    May 1, 2023

    The poem takes such a lovely journey!


    • Vox Populi
      May 1, 2023

      It really does. I like the way she captures the beauty of urban life.



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This entry was posted on May 1, 2023 by in Poetry, spirituality and tagged , , , , , .

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