Mary Rhinelander’s Volvo Station Wagon

1978. A passenger in a smash
Nutcase trauma from the crash*
“I will never drive
I want to stay alive”
Became my Mantra.

*Pieces of glass still work themselves out of my
cousin’s scalp.

1988. “Can I go by subway? Bus? Train?”
So unmelodic, a tired refrain.
PLUS (Memo to self)
Additional benefit of car:
Destination near or far,
Leaving is possible.

2002. Hey! We need milk! Some nails!
A snow shovel! Imported ales!
Time/reality have interceded
Mantra goals now impeded
By everyday life.

Never too late to drive
(pushing 45)
I pay cash for a fire-breathing dragon
Okay, a used Volvo station wagon.
This baby is Venetian Red.

I’m still a nervous Nelly.
A pit of dread in my belly.
The brakes are sensitive (too much?)
Responding to my slightest touch.
Safety matters most.

Of my own volition
I turn a key in the ignition.
My hands sweat, atremble
I do not in the least resemble
A brave person.

However, 0 to 60 in 8 rocks.
The sun roof rolls.
The CD player rules.
Power and technology* the tools
that make my vehicle purr.

*My fat middle-aged ass loves the seat warmers

Strapped in back sits beloved Freddy,
Built-in car seat at the ready.
He has christened her, this car.
She’s fast, she’s heavy,
She’s  “Rock Star”

2004. I live in the sticks now
Dodging deer, the occasional cow.
Driving stress is less.
Dare I confess?
I even enjoy it sometimes.

Mary Rhinelander

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