My Father Behind The Wheel

My room was the old garage attached to the house
festooned with posters and dirty underpants

my father’s Mercedes was a sacred relic with a flavor
of old leather upholstery. It rested in its own building.

there must have been some kind of familial syzygy
that called for the stout gray car to be called forth

my father manipulated the manual transmission
like he wanted to go faster than the speed limit

maybe run counter the Earth’s rotation, turn time back
to when he was a single man in his thirties

living in a rooming house, holding a steady, union job
without the stereotypical trappings of success

a home with a lawn and a garden to putter around in
a family to celebrate when the breadwinner came home

tiptoed around as he put his feet up, brought him
a beer, dusted off his chair sitting at the table’s head

maybe the Mercedes would have been fast enough
to warn him that actual life was going to be messier

maybe he wouldn’t have cared, sitting in a café at night
nursing a beer, chain smoking cigarettes, ignoring his watch

observing women go by, put together like wedding cakes
perfect until deconstructed and spoiled

how many girlfriends had he seen in the rearview
before he met my mother on a blind date in a foreign country

she was a slim, spicy tomato in those pre-color television days
a lapsed Catholic living with a roommate in old Vancouver

it’s impossible to see them together drinking in Gastown,
walking holding hands through dusk in Stanley Park

that part of our family history is like a set of encyclopedias
with multiple volumes missing, the illustrations blurred

the Mercedes is long gone, sold during the years of elderly pruning
to a younger man intent on its restoration who promptly vanished

just like all those possible lives that fade below the horizon
when choices are made and you start down a road toward yourself

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a poet from Seattle Washington USA. His poetry has appeared in print in publications such as Bellowing Ark, Point Nopoint, and most recently in Contraposition magazine. When not writing poetry he is a Human Resources professional, a repentant glutton, and a novelist specializing in the weird-fiction genre.
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6 Comments on "My Father Behind The Wheel"

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I enjoyed reading this story poem very much. Life from both eyes you could say.

Linda Symonds

Gritty introspective piece–you’ve polished off the “glamour” to expose the truth. I like the romance that burns beneath.


It really moved me I can relate to the feeling of despair, yet I feel a sense of hope by the ending

Matina xxx

Archana Kaul

Loved reading the poem, and the use of old Mercedes to take your story forward….


I found it quite unique, the way you have put across the story and the emotions. Much is said but a lot to be read in-between the lines. Very human, very surreal. Thanks 🙂

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Congratulations! @grawlix67
This poem has been selected to be a part of the Poetry Article we published on Father’s Day. Your poem is listed with the works of celebrated poets. People reading this article will be directed to your profile page so they can read more of your work.
You can read the complete article here

May your words reach places and touch hearts through the power of poetry.


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