by Anniel 9/25/16
A Poem In Two Voices
His automobile, always new, was my
Father’s sustaining and one true passion.
It took some going, round curves and mountains,
In order to fill his driving ration.
[Ruth*, do you hear that? This car has a ping.]
His times of wandering were somewhat spent
As each new child joined in chaining him down,
But his summer-long journeys were sacred
As he loaded and prepared to leave town.
[Listen, that sound, it’s the carburetor.]
He packed up the food, tarps and wool blankets,
Coleman lantern, stove and full Water Boy,
Then stuffed children in spaces remaining,
Everyone sharing in vacation’s joy.
[Did you feel those springs when we hit that bump?]
We drove high hills and deep river valleys;
Through billowing dust and roads made of stone.
Dad always pushed on, through cloudburst and drought
And lung searing heat all parched to the bone.
[Listen, my dear, it’s the radiator.]
Daddy wanted to see all that he could,
But driving was the ultimate reason
He kept on the move, speeding and shifting,
Braking and turning, through summer’s season.
[Gas mileage is down. It’s time, Ruth, it’s time,]
We rode in autos, wagons and pickups,
Hair mangled by wind, skin dirty and beat,
As Daddy listened for clatter or squeak,
That meant a new car, all spiffy and neat.
[Let’s buy a new car and not hesitate.]
Oh, Daddy listen, those sounds that you hear,
They’re the sounds of children in a new car,
Learning the world as they travel with you,
Learning of beauties that nothing can mar.
[Buy, before it dies and loses value]
Those cars never died, they lived in our hearts.
And somewhere Daddy yet drives up a hill,
Twisting and turning, and showing the way
To little children who ride with him still.
[Time for a trade-in, before it’s too late!]
Daddy, listen, it’s the wrong thing you hear,
It’s only some noise and not what it seems,
It’s the sound, the brief sound of forever
As children ride in the heart of their dreams.
*Ruth is my mother’s name.
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