I’ve driven a few miles in my day. Frost heaves, detour signs, unplowed roads, dirt roads, pot holes as far as the eye can see, it’s a lifetime of experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I figured out one day how many miles I have driven, and the best, roughest total I could come up with, determining the trips to Buffalo, Grand Rapids, Florida, Down East, to the mountains, to the coast, and all of the work miles, it all added up to around two and a half million miles. That’s a lot of driving, and that’s probably a pretty good reason why I don’t miss driving yet. I miss the independence, but I just don’t seem to miss it all that much. I suppose having my own private chauffeur makes the transition a little easier. Thank God for that.
Today is the 20th of April, and this is the 20th poem of the month. I have to admit that I’m cheating a little on this one, as I wrote the following poem three years ago. I always loved this one, so here you go.
If you drive, thank your lucky stars that you have the ability. If you don’t, be grateful whenever you get a ride. If you walk wherever you go, pay attention, because there’s a ton of crazies out there gripping the wheel like I used to.
Tell you the truth, I think I miss riding my John Deere lawnmower more than I do driving a car, or a truck.
And here we go. Have a great day, and don’t forget to buckle up.
A poem by DP Lyons
The wind whistles in through the barely open window.
the smattering of tires on wet pavement strains the concentration.
Frayed Windshield wipers sway back and forth like a gold pocket watch.
Restless fingers tap on a cracked dashboard.
Rear view mirror reflects a traveled past .
The radio tunes in and out of the oldies station.
A lone maple leaf clings to the wiper for dear life.
Three empty cans roll across the back seat floor mat.
A busted belt buckle lies empty across a torn vinyl seat .
The car turns sharply left while a hubcap quickly rolls right.
A tire jack in the trunk slams against a busted cooler.
The glove compartment door springs open, again.
The cup tray hangs straight down.
The volume knob for the radio falls off, again.
The right rear speaker rattles and vibrates as a song on the radio hits a low note.
The engine belt slips and squeaks, again.
The needle on the gas gauge reads one eighth of a tank.
The check engine light flickers on and off, again.
As the car turns sharply right, a warped cassette case slides across the dash to the left.
The jack in the trunk slams into the busted cooler, again.
She looks over at you and grabs your hand as you smile, wink and step on the gas.