Blue Studebaker

February 16, 2009 at 10:36 pm (Kelowna Poems, Poems)

The Snells have scrambled over to my aunt’s yard
from across the street. We are now seven kids climbing
into the blue Studebaker, pretending we can just back it out
and drive away down Falkirk Street. We unroll the windows
and blow invisible smoke from our Popeye cigarettes into the breeze.
Someone starts shoving and we are all laughing and pushing each other
out the side doors, then slamming each door shut with a heavy bang.
New game: it’s hide and seek with no time to hide, and all the boys
are it. We chase the boys in the backyard around the snake bush
through scratchy yellow grass. Jeanelle catches Bobby and Kim says
they are boyfriend and girlfriend. Kim’s older sister, Trish, whispers
the word “necking” loudly behind a cupped hand. I see Bobby and Jeanelle
as chickens, pecking each other’s necks in the backseat of the Studebaker.
Jeanelle lets go of Bobby’s arm and runs home, and his face turns redder
than the sun. He says nothing as he stands there and stares at us. Everyone
disappears. I look down through the carport window and see Bobby lying on his bed
in the basement, poring over his set of National Geographic animal kingdom cards
in the dark. I stretch myself out on the hood of the hot blue car. I don’t know why
but in the thick dust caked on its windshield I spell


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