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Waving at Cars
Sarah Anne Loudin Thomas


There they are, in the yard
of the house down the street.
They wave like mad as I drive
to the grocery store, to the library,
to dinner out on a Friday night.
They drop the ball, the stick
that's slaying a fiery dragon—
whatever they're doing and they
wave as if someone waving back
meant everything.
And then, sometime around thirteen,
they stop. They turn cool, quiet,
aloof and they don't wave as I drive
to the doctor, to the grocery store,
to an appointment I hate to keep.
There is no hand raised like a flag
that says, "Hey, I'm here and so are you." 

But wait. Grown men in ball caps
driving trucks hauling hay
or lumber or an old lawn mower
that'll never run again raise a finger
from the top of the steering wheel
and they tilt their heads—
up now down in a salute that says,
"Hey, I'm still here and I see,
somehow, you are, too."



© Sarah Anne Loudin Thomas.
Used with the author's permission.




Sarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, West Virginia, the seventh generation to live there. Her historical fiction is often set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, land, and heritage of Appalachia. Sarah is the director of Jan Karon's Mitford Museum in Hudson, North Carolina. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Coastal Carolina university and is the author of the acclaimed novels The Right Kind of Fool, winner of the 2021 Selah Book of the Year, and Miracle in a Dry Season, winner of the 2015 Inspy Award. Sarah has also been a finalist for the Christy Award, the ACFW Carol Award and the Christian Book of the Year Award. She and her husband live in western North Carolina.


Post New Comment:
There's something about this poem that makes me long for that place. Nice work!
Posted 10/04/2014 10:33 AM
I think it's small towns, but only in the South.
Posted 10/03/2014 04:22 PM
My brother lives in Alabama and he said there people even wave at the dogs.
Posted 10/03/2014 09:03 AM

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