Riding in Cars

I.
The Mercury.
Coming back from the pool
eight cylinders glided through town
in a haze of chlorine and latex.
Plastic Jesus kept watch
from the dash.
He was powerful
Mother claimed
though I learned he could not protect me
from vinyl seats baked in the sun.

II.
The Beetle.
Baby blue, dented fender
windows fogged whenever it rained.
AM radio, best friend.
Arms grew strong
rolling windows down then up
between storms.
Powerless
we leaned forward
at every hill.

III.
El Camino.
Boy’s palm melted my hip
waiting for daddy
to snap the picture.
He held the door
my heel caught the hem
of my dress.
Awkward
I waved goodbye,
dizzy from orchids and green satin.
So fast, I didn’t see
the moment my
innocence
vanished
over the
horizon.

Ranae LaFerney is a writer and editor from Washington State. She makes her home along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and manages Scarlet Plume LLC, an editorial consulting firm. Ranae’s poems and essays have been published in Poppy Road Review, Orion and MORE.

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