Photo by Christopher Raley


1963 is a green Plymouth Valiant
I levered from park and pushed to drive
through summer’s streets of 1991.
Strip mall on the left, and on the right
giant oaks overspread the manicured dead.

My friend sweated with me
while others of our transient world
conditioned airs and tinted eyes
to radios divorcing hearts from souls.

But I said, Hey, dude, check this out,
sliding in Thick as a Brick from 1972
because we believed rock and roll could be
more than three chords and the truth.

The worth of being right evaded me for years
and now I just listen to the blues.

1963 trembled like an iconoclast in 1991.
In 2011 it sits in an overgrown yard
sloughing its paint and hating its dents.
I want to buy it, the car, the stranger in our time.

I pity its remorse and its anger
because it carried me between the strip mall
and the cemetery where giant oaks like temples
shaded with reverence our fears.