As the days wander away—we wonder—with eyes wide open/half closed
Whether we will make it or not to the next rest stop.
Full of fuel we begin learning to drive
as we travel the road—left, right—left, right
first gear, second and third.
Overdrive for a time
we cruise—top down
through endless cornfields at night
witn only our headlights—the stars and the ocassional “Eat Here” sign to guide us.
Motown through tinny speakers—as it was meant to be
before surround sound, deep dish bass and all that techno stuff.
One of Detroit’s finest creations—a powder blue sixty-three Chevy Impala Super Sport
with a convertible top and a four barrel 409 engine under the hood.
Gas was fifty cents a gallon and when you floored it
You could see the gas guage move toward empty
as the carburetor fed the hungry cylinders their concentrated food.
No matter how bad the moment had been
your problems slid away as you slipped behind the wheel and turned the key.
The roar of the engine was all it took to be released from
whatever it was that was holding you back.
Happiness was a warm car—not a warm gun.
I remember the ride on Friday night—late—not wanting the evening to end
Summer breezes on Lakeshore Drive—somewhere between where I was headed
and where I would eventually end up.
Not a care in the world as I imagined myself on the way to California,
Rather than several miles from home—the night almost spent—my thoughts about to return
to the real world always pressing in.
The motion of the Chevy
The road rapidly passing underneath—the breeze
in through the open windows—the moon,
the stars, the sand
Trees/bark—house lights—lost in the moment, yet somehow fully aware of the joy,
the pain, the endurance—somehow protected from flying to high
or ever getting to low
I maintained an even keel behind the wheel
of whatever I had the fortune to drive
Road trip—road trip
Bus stop—train station, airport, hitchhike
long walks on the beach at night
no drown—light brown—duck, duck, goose