Toledo Drive By: I-475

This poem is part of the Midstory Original Series, Toledo Drive-by, which travels through the roads of Toledo via short poems that explore the beauty, landscape, meaning and potholes of our post-industrial town. Bring a jacket and buckle up as we navigate through highways, one-ways and dead-ends.

Video by Karen Yao, Rita Harper and Robert Scaramuccia for Midstory.

Rosa Parks laid the first few bricks in

the Civil Rights Movement by standing up

to inequality and remaining in her seat.

Threatened and manhandled, she was trained,

an unexpected soldier against racism and ignorance

whose legacy drives this nation today. 

Sometimes sitting without words is louder

than cars that drive 55 to 90mph.

I-475 is also known as the Rosa Parks Highway. 

It is a short, twenty-mile stretch that barely leaves 

Toledo and is always covered in orange cones. 

Living up to its namesake, constructing 

a better way— to drive. Watch 

your speed; Rosa may have stayed

but it’s a different kind of danger 

if you don’t keep moving. Flashing lights

on the side of the road, stopped

waiting for assistance; keep going. 

Don’t miss your exit (if it’s still open).

The possible connections are endless, but

this road doesn’t go on forever.

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