The Family Car
after Tom Abshire
I liked the Buick the best, before the two-toned Chevrolet,
before the “Puddle Jumper,” before the doomed Corvair.
It was big, black, the back sear like a velvet couch
with leather seams, an armrest to keep my older sister
in her place. There was a cushioned arm rest with
an ashtray, a perfect ledge for little rubber soldiers.
I watched, watched the telephone poles go by, watched
the wires for doves, a red-tailed hawk, watched the ever-
changing clouds, watched for the roof of trees that told me
we were on the country road now to my uncle’s house.
Then it was time to listen, listen for the rumbling
wooden bridge, time then for my father to honk the horn,
time to start shouting, “We’re here, we’re here!” Then,
going home again, in the sweet dark, on the two-lane,
we’d look for purple tail-lights in the cars ahead. We’d
sing, and sleep would come, the sleep you’d wake from,
as if by magic, in the morning in your bed.
© The Estate of Sandford Lyne