Thursday, March 03, 2011


There is also the matter of my uncle,
who, after the crash, was found

to have bent the steering wheel
around its steady column. His arms

are slack now, the skin loose, room
for so much more than is there,

but that day, so my aunt tells it,
the ring of the wheel curved in

on itself, like a taco shell, she always
says––for this is not the first time

we have heard the story; waiting
room, funeral home, church,

a podium facing lacquered pews––
weather always the same bone-

dry desert wind and a cloud of dust
that scuds onto the road, obscuring

the telephone pole like clockwork.
This is where we, having known

him, still manage to expect some
casual line, I'll be goddamned, when in fact

he was clearly blessed, but no matter
the repetitions, the story always ends

the same way: steering wheel bent
with his own two hands, hands that opened

the twisted door of the old truck,
brushed the glass from his shirt.


Anonymous said...

I do like this poem. I'm so glad tehre was a happy ending. It was unexpected, which turns convention on its head.

Mad Kane said...

I enjoyed your poem. Nice job with the prompt.
Mad Kane

nan said...

The ending is unexpected and welcome - and it adds to the life of the man. I might have guessed it with the lead-off phrase. I thought about starting my poem with that phase, too, and I really like what you did with the prompt. Very smooth/ good enjambment.

James Brush said...

What a very well constructed narrative. I love the play on goddamned and blessed.

LKHarris-Kolp said...

Well done... I love the surprise ending!


thingy said...

Amazing poem, with a good ending. : )

Anonymous said...

Well-structured and told. The line breaks and enjambment lead through the story but the clarity of personalities is what I like the best, as well as the speaker's voice.

Linda Jacobs said...

Yes, the voice in this poem is great! Down-homesy! Love that.

Kim Nelson said...

Masterfully told. Great lead, build-up and release. Nice work
Here's my far less subtle attempt:

Raven's Wing Poetry said...

I love the way you combined the visual with a strong narrative, and especially how you used that bent steering wheel as an anchor in the piece.


Mike and Sandy Patrick said...

That is getting maximum milage from a prompt. Great poem, story and ending.

DJ Vorreyer said...

This is a really lovely piece - great narrative rhythm.

Tumblewords: said...

Terrific narrative style piece. Love the story...

Nancy said...

Sad, poignant, profound. The return of the steering

gautami tripathy said...

I liked the way you ended it...

rivulets of


CoFun77 said...

I really enjoyed this one. Great details.

Anonymous said...

i love the rhythm of your poetry.

Cathy said...

Brilliant poem.

Anonymous said...

A splendid tale indeed. The language rings... the "taco shell" bit especially, it's so specific and unique to this.

Jingle said...

lovely imaginations. well done..

here is my try:

thanks for reading.
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