End of summer poem

Moon River

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,
KenandMike curled next to Mom.

Let’s make it late July twilight in 1963
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 an aching tenor that the girls repeat.

And make sure the youngest nod off
in a woven nest of blood and bones.

Of course, let there be poking, pinching,
jealousies, desire and unspoken fears

because the best place in the world
was always a heart-breaking ride.

“Moon River” is still one of my favorite old songs because we used to sing it in the car. So maybe it’s sentimental rot, maybe the bickering won out, but it’s nice to remember those perfect childhood moments.

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9 thoughts on “End of summer poem

  1. And the warm air streaming in the open window, and stopping at the milkbar for a cone just as dusk starts to settle … your nostalgic photo reeled me in and nudged a few memories. My sister’s name is even Nancy. 🙂

  2. Love the photo and the poem. I think Dad got us started singing so that we would stop bickering and elbowing for room.

  3. Great photo. I am afraid the story/poem I would have to write would be considerably darker. While the poem was lovely, for me at least, a bit difficult to relate to.

  4. You captured so much in this post, both the photo and your words. I am back from my summer travels and catching up. I have been reading and appreciating your blog. Thanks so much for the follow. I look forward to following yours as well.

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