Fathom Mag

Rush Hour Broadcast of the Children’s Advent Choir

Published on:
July 12, 2022
Read time:
1 min.
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Driving home in the deluge,
a deluge inside is driving me,
unknown at work, unknown by the other drivers,
unknown by the cold, carrying claws of my car—
one in a school of steel pods surging like steel-
head in a current, arching with the bridge
over the waters, breaking in pulses
of red light and despair, each car, a fish
encasing an unknown soul. Voices.

Invisible waves bring young voices.
Enduring through the downpour, they sing
in a language they do not know
about a Christmas tree.
I can smell the incense of its boughs
and see its baubles, though in the deluge,
I can no longer see the road.

There’s a gridlock of the heart
that persists when the cars have all come home.
A cathedral looms. The moon shines
through its arched windows. The fallen
rain has settled into its walls. Inside is a silence
that the songs do not deny
but confirm.

Even after we’ve turned off our engines
and our lights, and the highway
is a dry riverbed running through ruins,
we are all trying to get there
in time to hear the silence
which we believe is the hush before a song
in which each of our voices can flow,
carried, driving. In unison,
heard and known.

Shaun Anthony McMichael
Shaun Anthony McMichael is the editor of two collections of poetry by youth affected by trauma, mental illness, and instability: The Shadow Beside Me (2020) and The Story of My Heart (2021). Since 2007, he has taught writing to students from around the world, in classrooms, juvenile detention halls, mental health treatment centers, and homeless youth drop-ins throughout the Seattle area. Over sixty of his short stories, poems, essays, author interviews, and book reviews have appeared in literary magazines, online, and in print. He lives with his wife and son in West Seattle. Follow him on Instagram (@samcmichael), LinkedIn (@shaunmcmichael), and Twitter (@McmichaelShaun).

Cover image by Rodolfo Cuadros.

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