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About this Poem 

“I was driving down Westheimer Road in Houston, Texas, when I noticed the erratically driven car in front of me with the Ayn Rand vanity plate. I couldn’t help but imagine it plowing into a nearby bakery. I suppose the pigeons in my poem represent most of us—though I’m not sure if God is grinning at the economic system that brought them such good fortune, or at something else.”

—Kevin Prufer

Bread and Cake


The black Mercedes
with the Ayn Rand 
vanity plate
crashed through 
the glass bus stop
and came to rest 
among a bakery’s 
upturned tables.
In the stunned silence,  
fat pigeons descended 
to the wreckage
and pecked at 
the scattered
bread and cake.
The driver slept,
head to the wheel.
The pigeons grew
rich with crumbs.
The broken glass winked.
God grinned.

Copyright @ 2014 by Kevin Prufer. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on May 5, 2014.

Copyright @ 2014 by Kevin Prufer. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on May 5, 2014.

Kevin Prufer

Kevin Prufer

Kevin Prufer is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Churches (Four Way Books, 2014), In a Beautiful Country (Four Way Books, 2011), and National Anthem (Four Way Books, 2008). He teaches at the University of Houston and lives in Houston, Texas.

by this poet

poem
The old cat was dying in the bushes.
Its breaths came slow, slow, 
                                          and still
it looked out over the sweetness of the back lawn,
the swaying of tall grass in the hot wind,
the way sunlight warmed the garbage can's 
sparkling lid.  
                   It closed its hot
poem
They wanted him to stop kicking like that—
it made their eyes corkscrew, drilled the sun in the sky
so light dumped out like blood from a leak.
The boy in the trunk wouldn't die.

They drove and drove, and he dented the trunk's tight lid,
called their names, then pounded the wheel wells
with a tire iron. The sun
poem

The little red jewel in the bottom of your wineglass
is so lovely I cannot rinse it out,

so I go into the cool and grassy air to smoke. 
Which is your warmly lit house

past which no soldiers march to take the country back?
When you reached across the table to touch my hand

is not

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