Trevor Noah writes of a similar sentiment in his bio “Born a Crime.” He traces the most terrible things that ever happened to him back to crappy cars. Man, this poem resonates with me and the panic I associate with the cars of my childhood. It strips you and never really goes away. There’s more than one way to be stranded. Thank you. And thanks to my Toyota with 171K on it that never gives me trouble now. Y’all stand the test of time. Keep going places.
Thank you for sharing your work this way. I love having your poems and your voice in my weekly routines. You made me remember that recurring scene, sitting in the back seat, "shoulders slumped," partially worried about being late, stressing about showing up for school as though it were like showing up for a flight. The other part is shame, which I must have buried because I suddenly became aware of it as I listened just now. Maybe this is why I think I hold my breath with I turn the ignition in my car even though it's almost new. It's crazy how the body holds on to memories...
My "dependable" Prius crapped out a couple times lately. I thought I was past that dull helpless feeling of no response from an engine. Battery terminal corrosion brought me back to those days. I paid a guy who used to be my neighbor to fix it.
I love my car. It is the only car I've ever had that I love. It is a 2003 Toyota Celica. My fiance' bought it for me. He died before we got married. The voices he heard told him to get out of his car on I-5 and walk with his eyes closed. True story. So he got hit by one too many cars and didn't make it. So I cherish my car. It is bad-ass. It's a manual that will go from 0 to 60 in 5 seconds. Which probably isn't that great but I think it is when I'm stuck behind some slow poke on the freeway. V'room v'room. Yep, it's reliable. I make sure it is. My sweetie must stay in good condition. So that when I'm ready I can drive it off some pier straight to my fiance'' who will be waiting for me in my bad ass Black Celica..
My moms old push button Valiant left us stranded a few times. I have had reliable cars for most of my adult life and until now, I hadn't really thought about how privileged I am now. Thank you for reminding me to be thankful.
Wow, those days of hearing the car not start and me and my Mom trying to decide who would shimmy underneath, use a screwdriver and touch the poles on the starter to get it to crank😳 Invariably, it would happen in a store parking lot. After a while, we just parked far away from everyone on the off chance that we would need the room😂
I grew up poor on my mothers side and rich on my fathers side. This dichotomy haunts me. I can get lost trying to save when I should be living it up and being grateful.
Yes! To nice cars that run. I have one and I love it.
No! To the shame of not having enough even when you do your best.
Inspired to write about a car!
Such a moment you captured- the juxtaposition of then an now glorious and deep!
All poor people know the prayer for 1000 more miles.
Thank you for noticing the line breaks! My free verse is semi-formal.
I so love this poem especially as I
sit now in
Your linebreaks so ingeniously keep
the reader or
Going and going.
I take a whole lot of things for granted. Thanks for the reminder to be aware, and grateful, for my everyday.
It's not just about cars. It's about how poverty can take away even your most basic needs.
Not everyone wants to be rich. Not everyone wants a car. I never even think about it, I never want a car. We had a clunker growing up. I hate to drive. Am glad I live in New York. Started driving at 14 in Oklahoma. Now cars are just a bore that pollute the air. I have enough to eat well and pay too high rent. Everyone in the world should have that much.