The best place in the world
was inside the hot vinyl belly
of a big, blue ’62 Chevy Bel Air.
Wedged in tight with Nancy,
squished between JeanandMary
who got dibs on window seats.
Dad was always behind the wheel,
with KenandMike curled next to Mom.
Let’s make it late July twilight in 1964
coming home from fishing in Paullina,
where the kids jumped off a slimy dock,
caught bullheads and ate burnt hot dogs.
Let slides of stars wash across navy sky
through car windows cranked open wide
while car wheels shimmy and swerve
over dips and bumps on gravel roads.
Let Dad begin singing “Moon River”
in a soft aching tenor that trails off.
And make sure the little ones nod off
in a woven nest of blood and bones.
And last, let there be poking, pinching,
jealousies, anger and gnashing of teeth
because the best place in the world
will always be a heart-breaking ride.
Published in Taproot Literary Review, 2006