by Tom Ashley

We ruled the world, didn’t we
with our finned, chromed, candy-apple red
raked, pin-striped, dual carburetor, fuzzy diced
white walled,  spoked rim, necker knobbed
tire screeching, gas guzzling, smoking hot beasts?

We ruled the world, didn’t we
with the tuned up sounds of Wonder
Gladys and her Pips, Martha and her Vandellas
five guys named Jackson, brothers named Isley
and we had  Miracles, Spinners and Temptations
not one –  but Four Tops, Commodores and Smokey
didn’t we rule?

Then they came…the VWs, Toyotas, Hondas, Mercedes
hey, didn’t we win that war?

Our own brand of arrogance from The Big Three
the unions, the Coleman Youngs, the Kwame Kilpatricks
and wasn’t that Barry Gordy on the last train to the Coast
leaving the drugs, the murders, the destruction
of great Detroit the Beautiful?

We ruled…once

I have infinite gratitude to the fabulous Sarah White and my classmates who nurtured the imagery, passion, pleasure, emotion, insight and the gift of a lifetime I found  in poetry.