Mamamotormobile Print E-mail

riderfalling xgzy1j(Flash Nonfiction, January 1972)

Up the ramp, the radio’s on, we view round for lights and the lights remain and let us in.

Look at us, driving the Interstate, driving the flat curve of the earth.

Look at us, leaving the city, heading west through the state, into the Horse-Trader’s dialect.

Look over us, mamamotormobile, for we’re going home with high beams on in the frozen hare’s eyes.

We’re going home with the tire wheel grazing low, the steering wheel grazing lower and tickling our tired waists.

We’re going home where the highway drops and the lights collide and the dusk is impassable.

We know where the cops shouldn’t be, along a five-mile stretch, by nervous heart, to a lesson in fraternity.

And we listen to how Del Reeves left his Stetson hanging on a bedpost in Seattle.

And we listen to how happy the Turtles are together.

We’re running real smooth until some tired old fart cuts in front and upsets us, and so we pass him and see, by Jesus, he is a tired old fart.

Though we know the sky is laughing, we sing on anyway, underneath the bridge, and it joins us, right on time, as we emerge.

And dropping down to 25 and rounding the corner and dropping down slower and yielding and spitting in and out the viaduct like we’ve never come through here before and sliding in a lighted slot, nearly dark, nearly home, we see the grace of hard luck and trouble of the silent father and son sitting next to us, just three feet away, as well, the family auto, keeping her boys warm.

And about now, we’re slouched and hungry and pulling in to see the country sun has set, a sad garage door apart from the motorcycle thief who is on his way to Texas with keys in his teeth and jargon for the cops who never can show up our mamamotormobile.