Saturday, February 09, 2008

MY FATHER'S CAR

Slanted rays of the late afternoon sun
gild the dust motes emancipated from
the mohair cushions by my sudden settling,
intrusive and possessively on their long tranquil couch.
Rising in the reddened rays they dance
in chaotic patterns, like miniature
birds rising up from their cover.
Some invade my nostrils with traces and places
of my father, hinting of sojourns
with his beloved Buick while he could still possess
his share of the highways,
and of his furtive sessions behind the wheel,
pretending the state would still let him drive.
I smell fragments of chocolate kisses from
floating flakes of untwisted tin foil wrapped
around his forbidden, high cholesterol treats
he had hidden in the glove compartment,
but from whom?
Mother, already gone, no longer policed his diet,
and his progeny were too engrossed
in our obligations and his grandchildren
to monitor the poisoning of his blood
from risky treats nor would we forbid
occasional life shortening cigars,
we could taste with his kisses.
I could not smell one wisp of tobacco smoke
here in his refuge from a youthful society,
so I realize he would not poison its upholstery
with the tell-tale tarry smoke that
had tortured and surmounted his lungs.
I copied the mileage from the odometer
so I could place an ad in the paper,
extolling Dad's treasured Fleetmaster's
low mileage and pristine condition
on the back of a receipt for a casket
and blurred the numbers with fresh tears
How could I sell his car?
Why did we not seat Dad in his beloved Chevrolet
and bury them together in the ground instead
of in a satin lined funerary box
wearing a suit that no longer fit?

by Gerald Bosacker


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