Tuesday, February 14, 2017




Cruising in our nearly new Nineteen Fifty-Four Pontiac
past fields of ripening corn and sorghum, my sister
and brother engrossed in their books and the car radio
playing softly, part of an impromptu trio, Mom humming
and Dad whistling to the singing of the Sons of the Pioneers,
we drifted along with the tumbling tumbleweeds, except that
Dad and not the wind was in control, skillfully and purposefully
steering, lest we drift off the edge of the horizon instead of
checking in just after dusk at the Best Western. Now, with
eyes half-closed and Raggedy Ann as my pillow, I leaned back
and watched the grassy shoulder glide by, milkweeds and
black-eyed Susans rampant, as the tumbleweeds gave way
to the sweet strains of Eddie Heywood, Hugo Winterhalter, and
a mystical, faraway Canadian sunset I suddenly longed to see.
The way my father whistled, slipping deftly from melody
to harmony and back, I was sure he knew that sunset
and that place and he would take me there someday, wherever
it might be, if I asked him to. But just as suddenly there was
no need; everything that life could offer was contained
in a Nineteen Fifty-Four Pontiac on a two-lane highway
and the radio, the songs, and the summer afternoon.
The Sons of the Pioneers, with Roy Rogers

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