Poetry: Ode to My 1977 Toyota

Ode to My 1977 Toyota
–Barbara Hamby
From Babel

Engine like a Singer sewing machine, where have you
     not carried me-to dance class, grocery
shopping,
into the heart of darkness and back again? O the fruit
     you’ve transported-cherries, peaches,
blueberries,
watermelons, thousands of Fuji apples-books,
     and all my dark thoughts, the giddy
ones, too,
like bottles of champagne popped at the wedding of two people
     who will pass each other on the street
as strangers
in twenty years. Ronald Reagan was president when I walked
     into Big Chief Motors and saw you
glimmering
on the lot like a slice of broiled mahi mahi or sushi
     without its topknot of tuna. Remember
the months
I drove you to work singing “Some Enchanted Evening”?
     Those were scary times. All I thought
about
was getting on I-10 with you and not stopping. Would you
     have made it to New Orleans? What would
our life
have been like there? I’d forgotten about poetry. Thank God,
     I remembered her. She saved us both. We
were young
together. Now we’re not. College boys stop us at traffic lights
     and tell me how cool you are. Like an
ice cube, I say,
though you’ve never had air conditioning. Who needed it?
     I would have missed so many smells
without you–
confederate jasmine, magnolia blossoms, the briny sigh
     of the Gulf of Mexico, rotting ‘possums
scattered
along 319 between Sopchoppy and Panacea. How many holes
     are there in the ballet shoes in your
back seat?
How did that pair of men’s white loafers end up in your trunk?
     Why do I have so many questions, and why
are the answers like the animals that dart in front of your headlights
     as we drive home from the coast, the
Milky Way
strung across the black velvet bowl of the sky like the tiara
     of some impossibly fat empress who rules
the universe
but doesn’t know if tomorrow is December or Tuesday or June first.

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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