Saturday, January 15, 2011

Family Car

In the backyard, the rusted red Mustang
is propped on cinderblocks, wheels missing.
Daddy swears he’ll fix it, have himself a sports car.

Mama suns on its roof. Her body oiled
with cooking grease, she boils and burns.

Before the yellow-jackets take over the passenger’s seat,
my brothers and me pretend to drive it too fast
along those red clay roads, open it up on
Highway 65 towards Birmingham,
roll down the windows, turn up the radio, all of us
swigging co-colas, getting high on moonpies
and letting that Alabama landscape slide
right off our backs.

Otherwise, the car just sits among the weeds, until
we move to an apartment without a backyard,
and Daddy calls the junk man.

The three of us balance on the chain-link fence,
sip on Kool-Aid from Dixie Cups, and watch
our get-away car ramble down the road.

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