tonight's car: ode to my mother's driving skills
by Michele Christopher

My mother drove a station wagon
it was a 63
brown, no wood panels
i remember number 2 pencils
stuffed in the seat cushions
with pennies and cookie crumbs
and my little sister in a time before car seats
tumbling around in the back
like a loose bottle of soda
all shook up and ready to explode
when she'd cry
we'd hold her head out the back window
the wind in her face would make her laugh
people would wave and we'd throw peace signs back at them

my mother drove with a lead foot
and a white kerchief on her dyed red hair
a cigarette in her mouth
virginia slims extra long
she'd curse at the old people
and the kids playing stickball
and barrel down the streets
kids out the window
groceries flying around the back
sometimes we'd get hit with a stray apple

my mother's station wagon
was like the best roller coaster
or the scariest car ride
depending if you liked holding on for life
while the wind slapped your face
or if you preferred dodge darts
driven by ladies with steady hands
who would never dye their hair or smoke cigarettes


Thanks to my turtle for the CDs for Mother's Day. That was all kinds of awesome.

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