Ah, the old Packard–you said it was an accident
that the passenger seat
reclined the night you
took Dawn Riski to the drive-in;
as if you were actually surprised that
she slapped you!
And, God! the Nash Rambler–
remember how a godzillion trucks
jackknifed on I-94 all the way to Chicago
that weekend in the blizzard of the century
the kids in the back seat
with no seatbelts and the roads icing
as if Hell really had frozen over
and the Pope actually cancelled Mass because no one
was going anywhere anyway?
And the ’56 DeSoto, geeze!
though the one we had was salmon
with fins and power everything and a leather interior
and Dad could really could go 120 mph on the new, unopened freeway
between Columbus and Toledo
making us swear
never to tell our mother!
At fifteen I thought I would gladly
die for love in Gary Cs ’63 Ford—
the one you had to pull on a string
suspended from the rear view mirror
to operate the windshield wipers.
the same one we sat talking in
late one night under the streetlamp
until my mother
swooped down on us
marched me up the stairs
with a tongue lashing so awful it was no accident I
wished she’d been in that ‘63 Buick
Prussian blue, my favorite color
that went off the bridge and severed my best friend’s tongue
when her head slammed through the windshield.
-From Outsider Writers
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