Poem: Restless Histories

Restless Histories

The old car pokes its bulbous nose out of the barn.
Faded gray paint. But the windshield is intact.
the tires are good.
You wonder if it runs.

This is the kind of car you started with.
That one, the first, was a 1951 Packard,
more rust than bodywork.
it belonged to a retired professor
who hardly drove it. He took the bus to school.
It made a trip each week to the grocery store.
It had seat covers on the worsted wool pinstripe seats,
which you immediately ripped off
before making your first road trip
to the beach a few hours from home,
the big metal rocket of a car humming
with it’s straight-eight engine released,
like yourself at eighteen,
for the first time.

You look at the car in the garage.
You feel a restlessness.
A familiar feeling. You think sometimes
you were a bedouin in another life,
a man with a code, a love for Persian rugs,
strong coffee and restlessness.
A misinterpretation of course,
but you learned far too much history in novels,
and so facts mingle with emotion far too often.
It probably does not run.
But in your mind’s eye, wind is flowing through your hair
at eighty-five miles an hour.

About this poem

The car in the picture sits in a barn down the road, Cnnsider Bardwell farm, where they make the most amazing cheeses.

I really did have a 1951 Packard as my first car.

And the restlessness part? Just part of my makeup when I am healthy, mentally and otherwise.

Be well. Travel wisely,

Tom

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