The Biscayne, Bel Air and Impala Chevrolet.
Cheap, medium-priced, and luxury.
I loved spotting these models
On the drive from New Hyde Park to Manhattan.
So, when Dad bought a 1962 white Dodge Dart,
I was disappointed.
But when I realized
The state-of the-art push button nobs
For shifting were on the dash board
The car began to pop in my head.
At age ten,
I was counting the years
Until I could get a license and drive.
Driving became an obsession.
I fantasized about having the deed to a car.
On our Long Island backstreet,
I cried until Dad let me drive.
I sat on his lap
Gripped the steering wheel
We coasted down the pavement. Heaven.
A month after the car procurement,
Dad told us, “We are going on a vacation.
Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota, and Ohio
The safety and reliability of the Dodge
Made the 1962 three-thousand-mile trip happen.
Then in 1963,
The car transported us to Lake Placid,
The honeymoon lodge
For my parents in 1950
Our 1964 vacation picked
Cape Cod, Boston, Canada.
The Dodge treated us to the last three expeditions
Our family would encounter.
The pain in Dad’s chest
Didn’t encumber his driving skills.
He closeted the cancerous tumor
On his spine.
Yet periodically I noticed his hand
Grab hold of his rib cage
Winced his eyes.
When we moved to the West Coast
The car got sold because widowed Mom
Couldn’t make a road trip from
New York to Los Angeles.
Mom and Dad had loved the car
but when she purchased the 1966 model
It lost its class.
It cried of cheapness as it went
From full size to compact.
Mom wanted the 1962 Dart’s good vibes
Traveling to Los Angeles
Hoping for a sign from my father.