The ’51 Studebaker cranked around hair-pin turns,
swooped through crossings, out-ran stray dogs.
Father clutched the wheel, blue eyes blazing.
Mother, pale beside him, clucked her tongue.
Bottoms bounced, rough-fibered seat
rubbed red patches on tan bare skin.

My sister and I peered through open windows’
rushing air at ambling cows, valley lakes and peaks.
Shrilled our excitement
in Father’s overwrought ear.
Mother wrung thin hands, moaned soft and low.

We roared through Adirondacks
to our cousins’ country home,
left a few feathers in our wake.
Final flourish of the wheel,
brakes shrieked inches from the door.

Father swaggered, Mother staggered from the car.
Amply impressed, my uncle asked,
When did you get your license, Norm?
Father beamed in modest pride,
I’ve had it one whole week.

About the Author: Patricia Wellingham-Jones

Patricia Wellingham-JonesPatricia Wellingham-Jones grew up in a small New Jersey town and has lived, by choice, in little places much of her life. For the past few decades it’s been beside a creek in northern California. She is a widely published retired RN, former psychology researcher and writer/editor. She has a special interest in healing writing, with poems recently in The Widow’s Handbook (Kent State University Press). Chapbooks include Don’t Turn Away: poems about breast cancer, End-Cycle: poems about caregiving, Apple Blossoms at Eye Level, Voices on the Land and Hormone Stew.