Rocking Cars

Ethiopian and Somali
Midwest megalopolis kids 
Harassed while commuting
To school, 
Meet at summer coding camp,
And study traffic law. 
 
Dads downstairs laugh about 
Times past in dusty cities 
Alerted by screams
Beating thieves in the street 
While fat, bribed, police sit at the station. 
 
Low-income high school teacher
Americorps volunteer weighs in. 
 
100 dollar traffic fines for Audis
Barreling through crosswalks, 
Complained out of. 
 
Anonymous, free, “Rock ‘Em” 
Hits iTunes store. 
 
Rocking cars gets mainstream
As angry SmartCar passengers,
Pedestrians, and 
Guys watching their Mazdas from bar patio seats
Play on ordinance packed
Interactive make-a-driving scenario game 
And know the driver was wrong. 
 
Pockets of rocks 
Exploding righteous fury 
As cars drive away. 
 
Nosy neighbors 
And office workers passing though parking lots 
Surprised to see whose car 
Is peppered with little dents 
 
Or maybe not, 
So surprised. 

*This is one of those tough stories that feels like it is going to occur, but wouldn’t be pleasant to have happen.

The two perspectives, the very vulnerable pedestrian walking through the crosswalk, and the heavily armored but often oblivious driver, are irreconcilably at odds. I didn’t get a crash course on pedestrian walking rules, other than to not “jay walk,” whatever that means. And I’m not an expert in traffic laws. So it’s hard to know when what you’re doing is actually, definitely, correct. I imagine there is some demand for an app like this, and I imagine that if people felt they were definitely in the right, they might lash out a bit.

A happier alternative might be to learn how to American Sign Language sign, “Thank you!” to cars that let you walk by, but that’s a tough sell.

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