Wretched Road Trip

Here we go, my sister and I, bags
packed, already getting that familiar
queasy feeling in our stomachs. Summer.
About to start the annual car ride up
to the Catskills in upstate New York,
where my grandparents and several
other families, rented bungalows
for the season. Dad is ready.
A chewed cigar is clenched between
his teeth, as he revs up the ’55
Chevy Belair in two-tone gray and salmon.
Mom sits up front–a daredevil, she–where
the constant ashy smell of dead cigar stubs
was most pungent. We start off singing,
A Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall,
but reach a paltry count of seven-five,
before our knuckles are white from
gripping the backseat. Much as we loved
Dad, his capped head tended to rest
in the top portion of the steering wheel.
His driving was a series of speed-ups,
and sudden braking. Our faces greened,
as we both yelled, “Stop the car!”
One after the other, we’d throw up
every few miles. It never got better,
nor did Dad’s driving prowess.


Written for dversepoets.com/Road Trip

(recent, past, imagined or dreamed – using

rhythm, musing, food, smell, and sounds.) 


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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4 Responses to Wretched Road Trip

  1. missL says:

    I love this piece. Concise, yet it tells a big story beautifully.


  2. Oh dear not a good start to your holidays!
    My dad used to drive as fast as he could but fortunately he never had a decent car when we were little so that wasn’t very fast!
    I do remember the car careering off the road once as he sped along in atrocious weather and aquaplaned off the flooded road.
    I also remember a hair raising slide backwards down SHAP FELL in the Lake District as brakes were useful against frozen ice on the snow covered mountain pass. Snow chains or winter tyres are still unheard of in UK!!!!


  3. Myrna Zach says:

    AAAH, the good old days


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