Pop’s car

20 Apr

Pop’s car was a fine sedan
that he kept in pristine condition.
Immaculately clean
without dent nor a scrape;
its silver chrome gleamed,
its fin fenders cut
through the air like sharp knives,
its big black tires with whitewall trim
rolled along without wear.

He had driven his car for about twelve years,
though the mileage reflected little use;
Fifteen thousand, perhaps.
He drove the three miles to his work
and back home;
and on Saturdays to the A&P store;
and Sundays to eleven o’clock church
and then Howard Johnson’s for brunch.

Never a change.
Never a veer.
He drove his sedan like clockwork.

One day, his sedan made a left
where it always before made a right,
and continued on to the top of a hill,
and down and around the corner
Pop had no idea where he was in the world.

He gripped the wheel till his knuckles were white,
leaning forward, he peered straight ahead,
and totally lost, he turned and he turned and he turned
as the sun slowly set in the sky
and the sky turned from bright blue to black.

He frantically tried to recall the way,
But had no idea wherever he was,
and his sedan, the pride of his life,
had become an unruly ride
and turned and bucked and spun all about
while Pop hung on for dear life.
This dependable ride was now coarse and untamed
like a stallion that has known no commander,
and Pop, my dear Pop was now helplessly caught
at the edge of a tempestuous whirlwind.

An officer called from two counties over
where Pop had run off a main road
and struck a young jogger — an innocent hit —
who was none the worse but excited.
And Dad drove out into the night to retrieve
Pop and bring him back home
much to the relief of the rest of us here.

And yet the end of Pop’s story, I fear,
was far from over.
That night, it just began.

And Pop’s sedan was let out to pasture,
ne’er to be ridden again.
He had done my Pop in on that memorable night,
On that night he had done my Pop in.


4 Responses to “Pop’s car”

  1. emmylgant April 21, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    Beautiful. When Alzheimer’s becomes obvious, it seems to me that the sufferer steps into a Kafka novel. I saw it in my mother’s eyes.

  2. Kerry Gustafson May 11, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    Please include this one in your Slices.

    • skipmars May 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

      Thanks, Kerry. I like this one, too.

  3. codedjeannie May 12, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Slices 🙂

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