Driving Rain/Fear/Car

Driving Rain/Fear/Car

Fear draws fate, dread
a magnet.

I think of the young boy in trial
little league who, terrorized by
the hardball, invariably pivoted
into the pitch. 

In my case, it’s the car.

A few days ahead of a longish drive
I check the weather, then obsess over the hourly
projections looking for the window
when it won’t rain, or if it must, then not
very much.

“Showers” are heavier than “rain”, right?
I go through the tenths of the inch at all the various
projected times, both here and there, hoping for coordinated

The day itself dawns dry and I change
my whole schedule, determined to leave in
fifteen minutes, dragging the dirty clothes
from their planned wash—where I’m going has
a machine—

But (fifteen minutes has spread into forty-five)
now the sky is puffing over—the trouble is that I just haven’t driven enough—
I lived too many years
in New York City—

I make myself leave, and soon marvel
at how even when it does rain, it is manageably sprinkly—

But the most difficult part of this trip is the last
ten minutes,
when the route runs into one highway then veers into
the left of another highway,
and then takes an almost immediate exit
four lanes
to the right—

Just as I get to those highways, what may be called
“showers” but should be called “torrents” flood
my windshield,
swish, blur, swash, blank—

I try to make the wipers faster, but they wipe
as fast
as they will go, while I am frozen—wait, keep your foot
on the gas—for I am now
in the left lane, the fastest of four—

I tell myself that I could just stay on this highway—who cares
about the exit?  There are other

But my fear tells me that I cannot stay on this highway, for I cannot see
the highway, I cannot stay on a highway
that I cannot see,
so, slowly—am I going
too slowly? I try again to activate
my foot, make myself peer
into the slosh shown
in my rear-view mirror, make myself trust
in ten grey feet
of swish and the strength
of my signal light, and will myself
to the right, and again, to the right, and yet again,
to the right—

Beethoven consoles me, and Pablo
Casals—and there in the blur
is the sign overhead, and a voice says unsympathetically to take
that exit and I peel off, and now, that I am
 the only person in a single slowing lane, the rain too
slows—I do not honestly believe
the sky is malicious—

I feel, I suppose, a sense of accomplishment, but also
vulnerability, stupidity—
as adrenaline slowly dismantles the tower
it has built inside my chest, that place
with a view. 


Very much a draft and probably not a poem!  Have a good Friday!

All rights reserved to text and pic.  Pic doesn’t really go with post, but has rain! 

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One Comment on “Driving Rain/Fear/Car”

  1. M Says:

    an effective description of the peril one feels, the anxiety of driving in rain ~

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