The Station Wagon
Poem By Louise Marie DelSanto
I immediately thought of
the little boy down the street, Laurel Hill Elementary.
All of a five minute ride with
a short, stocky, curly-haired boy, looking like a
Charlie Brown character.
I sat in the back seat of his mother's
car: Station wagon smelling of dog,
sticky-fingered windows half-opened,
ripped vinyl seats, schoolbag filled with
his books, and a greasy lunchbag.
He told his mother he was in love;
the principle of first crushes, Spring giving
new meaning to holding hands, bubble gum,
penny-candy, laughing-at-nothing, a fake diamond
ring, the smell of his leather jacket.
It was the only thing he talked about, having
his first girlfriend. I wore flowery dresses and
patent leather shoes with my Easter pocketbook,
a small bottle of cheap cologne hidden within.
The scent of dogs and leather reminds me of
him. A ride in the back seat of that old Chevy
gave new meaning to a first grader.
Thankfully, no one heard my crinoline slip
when his mother stopped on a dime.
He never said anything to me in the morning.
His mother smoked Pall Malls, and chewed
a pack of Wrigleys before the first late bell,
the Station wagon always cold and musty,
the exhaust billowing trails of white clouds.