Skip to main content

LEARNING TO DRIVE by Mary Bast

My mother’s father was a physician, her mother a descendant of early English settlers…

 My father was the rough-cut son of immigrant German stock—my grandmother a short, fat, bossy sort and and my grandfather a tall, skinny, quiet man. I don't know my maternal grandparents' view of this bright, farm-grown young man, because they died in a car crash before I was born.

I can guess they hoped their middle daughter would find a better catch if they moved her away from La Feria, Texas—population 1,594. She went to college in Chicago, as they directed. Once there, however, she schemed to move closer to Texas A & M, where my father  was studying agriculture. She went to three different colleges in as many years and finally—after her third year away—they were married.

Mom saw through Dad’s tough exterior, and would act as go-between, but my father, enforcer of his own rules, scared me when I was growing up. Though he is long dead, in my seventh decade I still see aspects of the timid little girl who didn’t learn to challenge the rules or find her true voice until she was well into her fifties.
The author at her high school graduation

Learning to Drive
When he taught me to drive,
my Lieutenant Colonel Dad
commanded me to learn
on a stick shift. No namby-
pamby automatic ride. We
practiced on country roads
where he trained me to swerve
at will, to maintain control.



This is how he lived his life:
grabbing the wheel. In later years,
hands curled, arthritic claws,
he would not stop driving,
changing course. I never knew
when harsh weather would force
my slide into a lie, fearing
a head-on collision, his sharp nod
the only brake light needed.



I was always missing curves.

I wonder if his ashes press
cinders to dust as they plot,
in Arlington National Cemetery,
a military coup, part of a convoy,
commando spirits planning
to eject hazardous materials
on my wishy-washy life:
a car-jacking, an explosion. 
The author's father


Mary Bast: "I write poetry, found poetry, memoir, and flash fiction. A Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest finalist, my work has appeared in print and online journals, including 100 Word Story, Bacopa Literary Review, Blue Monday Review, Connotation Press, Haunted Waters Press, Pea River Journal’s "Remaking Moby Dick," right hand pointing, shaking like a mountain, Six Minute Magazine, Slow Trains, Survivor’s Review, The Found Poetry Review, The Writing Disorder, and Wicked Alice. When my hands are not on computer keys they’re holding brush to canvas, inspired by North Central Florida’s woodlands, lakes, and prairies. You may read more of my poetry here, visit my memoir blog and my art site. Or connect with me on my Facebook page here. I live in Gainesville, Florida."

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

MY HEART SEEPS by Edith Lazenby

Courage is not only facing fear, but also looking past fear, to see what lies it tells and truths it saves...
Sometimes I sit at a computer in trepidation. The house trembles and I wonder what I will find. 
Truth is not a fact or a feeling. It may rest on love’s heart and walk with integrity. It may stand beyond humanity in ways we can only imagine. Truth can be solid as earth and fickle as wind. But a wind can know stillness and the earth can crack wide open.
Tonight I found a stillness in a crack and managed to balance there...


My Heart Seeps
by Edith Lazenby
I cannot hold on And I cannot let go. I walk a path I don’t know. I feel moonlight But cannot see Its orb midst The cloudy cold. My hands tremble. My eyes tear. My toes wriggle To grasp earth. I want to stand Tall in the light Yet fear shadows all. Inside I crumble Under the weight I cannot shoulder.

FOR THE SISTERS by Tammy T. Stone

These days, I’m finding it difficult – along with many, many others - not to feel disheartened...
I'm disheartened by the feeling that chaos has descended upon us, at the negativity and fear, the anger and reactivity, the violent spirit of animosity characterizing the times. It’s hard not to give in to the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, even as we cling to the strong conviction that it is our positivity and our love that will prevail.
Every crevice of my heart goes out to the suffering (and we are all suffering when one of us suffers), and my heart aches for the untold numbers of women around the world who are immediately and devastatingly affected by recent decisions to cut funding to organizations vital to their health and wellbeing, a movement that horrifyingly undermines women’s sovereignty over their own bodies. Words do not do the feeling justice.
It feels to me that the earth itself is overturning, that our fragile grasp of what is right and true, of our incredibl…

IMAGINE A WOMAN by Patricia Lynn Reilly

This poem invites you to look upon yourself with loving kindness…
Gazing at your own true reflection, you will discover that everything you have longed for “out there” is already within you! I invite you to love your creativity fiercely. Faithfully plant seeds, allowing under-the-ground dormant seasons, nurturing your creative garden with love and gratitude. In the fullness of time, the green growing things thrust forth from the ground. It's a faithful, trustworthy process. AND it takes time and patience.  Blessed is the fruit of your creative womb! I invite you to trust your vision of the world and express it. With wonder and delight, paint a picture, create a dance, write a book, and make up a song. To give expression to your creative impulses is as natural as your breathing. Create in your own language, imagery, and movement. Follow no script. Do not be limited by the customary way things have been expressed. Your creative intuition is original. Gather all of life into your inner c…