Driving without Radio



Driving without Radio

One minute you’re sipping coffee at the stoplight,
and the next you find yourself six miles

down the road, wondering how you got there,
just two exits before the French bakery

and your favorite weekday breakfast taco stand.
Or while pondering the life of mud,

you almost stomp the brakes when a 40-year old
memory oozes in — two weeks before Thanksgiving,

the windshield icing over (inside), while most definitely
not watching the drive-in movie in Junction City, Kansas,

her warm sighs on your neck and ear, and the art
of opening cheap wine with a hairbrush. How many

construction barrels must one dodge to conjure these
delights, unsought and long misfiled? You turn right

on 29th Street and just for a moment think you’ve seen
an old friend, looking as he did before he died,

but better, and happier, and of course it’s just a trash bag
caught in a plum tree, waving hello, waving goodbye.


“Driving without Radio” was published at Split Rock Review in November 2016. Many thanks to editor Crystal Gibbins for providing a home for this one.

48 thoughts on “Driving without Radio

  1. Fantastic. “How many/construction barrels must one dodge to conjure these/delights, unsought and long misfiled?” This line undid me in the best possible way, as only truly powerful poetry can. You know that pleasurable and painful feeling that smacks of mortality and eternity at the same time? That. I’m grateful for your words. You encourage me to continue writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reminds me of the scary occurrence of driving on automatic pilot. Lost in thoughts coming out of left field, while muscle memory and some sort of cosmic, mystical function of a disengaged brain gets you safely where you want to go, leaving you frightened when you realize you barely, consciously remember the trip. Great poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reading this is a trip in itself – thank you! (Some truly surprising things come to the forefront of my mind on summer road trips driving miles per day several days in a row … a number of poems drafted from the road …)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Too often I find my mind drifting to nostalgia, fantasizing about a memory. It’s honestly a favorite past time of mine. My boyfriend is more of a “never look back always push forward type”, so my car time for memories is a special space for me. Loved this!

    Liked by 1 person

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