Friday, August 24, 2012

Belonging to Strangers

The waiting area seems clean
And relatively efficient.
It's tempting to say the people

Are of all sorts, an old cliche
When it comes to the DMV.
It's a pretty casual group,

Dressed for driver's license photos
As for any other errand
To a store around the corner.

The chatter sounds patient, cheerful,
A little nervous. So much depends
On having a driver's license.

Everyone negotiates one
Unspooling, stuttering sequence
Barely touching on the others,

Although some have brought their children
Or converse with total strangers
In a jokey, narrative way.

Most trips to the counter go well.
Documents are stamped and paid for.
Folks leave with cards of belonging.

One man from southern Africa
Here for his first Utah license
Is taking it seriously,

Wearing dress pants, white shirt, and tie.
Sadly, it seems he failed his test.
He will have to come back again.

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