Prompt – That First Vehicle That Gave You Freedom


Prompt – That First Vehicle That Gave You Freedom

Sometimes I feel like I never really got away ever.
Someone else has steered the wheel
the whole damn time and I don’t mean
Even though I know the rules
of the road, passed
my drivers’ test.
Even though they–the great big capitalized
They–issued me some kind
of license.

Sometimes, the driver’s a nice person,
if only she wouldn’t constantly look out the window
and yammer,
but sometimes she’s mean as hell, riding
people’s bumpers, scooting by
on the wrong frigging side– then–
just when they get back to their toodle,
slamming (bam) the brakes
with a vagrant squeal
that sounds almost like road kill,
but the one she’s got her gimlet on
sits just there–you know–
in the frozen squash of the vinyl,
not knowing how
to ditch that ride,
hitch another, way too afraid
to open the door even if
she would slow.

But then, sometimes
of a sudden, long and lost,
the car will wander into the desert,
its chrome burnished orange
by buttes that store sunset,
or it will glide by the side
of a sea held level in its glass,
or it will simply lose itself
in the long pitch of horizon
and that bitch of a driver will go
completely away
and yet the car–the car–
will stick right to the road,
moving on.

A poem of sorts (yes, a draft poem) for Herotomost’s prompt on With Real Toads  – “Road Trip,” to write about the first real vehicle that gave you freedom.  (This has been slightly edited since first posting and first comments.)

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14 Comments on “Prompt – That First Vehicle That Gave You Freedom”

  1. Sometimes I feel like I never really got away ever.
    Someone else has steered the wheel

    Obviously some people do drive their emotions – but this is also a metaphor for life – that’s the way I read it.

  2. I particularly love that last stanza.. That’s exactly how I wanted to drive.. Exactly the same way.

  3. Reblogged this on Poem Loves Noise and commented:
    This is one of my favorite blogs. Great post

  4. Brendan Says:

    Normally people refer to their cars as an extension of themselves — often blaming the car’s more venal gears for their own dark propulsions. But here the car is a silent accomplice to a driver’s unbuckled psyche, up until the driver turns it over (how does that song go, “Jesus, take the wheel”) and the car can simply drive. Man, that final stanza is halcyon.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Brendan. I am lucky enough to have spent many years hardly ever in cars–now that I commute to the City, I have to be in a car twice a week, which kind of drives me crazy! And yet, oddly, I have some pretty good memories of times in cars! (Also I guess less good!) Thanks. k.

  5. hedgewitch Says:

    Cars are a mixed bag indeed, though this poem is no bag of mixed metaphor, but runs sweetly unified between the ditches. So many things seem to take hold of our wheels and steer, while the rational, or perhaps more elevated, self sits by helpless bearing the brunt of all the ruts and road rage. Or perhaps its the onslaught of Them and all They conjure up that paralyzes us. Beautiful descriptive writing, k, especially as others have noted, the final, very free-feeling ending.Safe travels through the frozen landscape this week.

  6. Oh, I can so relate to those first two lines! That drive in the desert sounds wonderful.

  7. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    The final stanza provides such an unexpected contrast. I loved it.

  8. claudia Says:

    that brought back some memories… my first car was a yellow VW beetle…oh how i loved this car… it was quite slow though…ha… not for roadraces but it def. had lots of character…smiles

  9. Sometimes it is tough behind the wheel and it is not always the traffic that morphs us into a bitch or crier. There have been times I got to my destination, but really don’t know how. My mind wasn’t on the highway. Great write!

  10. Herotomost Says:

    Woohooo!!!! That’s a hell of a trip. From frustration to freedom. That last stanza is really cool. I am so glad that everyone liked this prompt….I thought it would get few hits. Thanks for coming around….but then again you almost always do. For that I’m grateful!!!

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