Issue Sixteen - April 2010

My Father’s Business Coupe

By John Sangster

It had its comforts.
Beneath the seat, a pint of Old-Granddad
in a brown paper sack.
Behind the seat, a bag of peanuts
shells and all.
And in the glove compartment,
a bottle of Listerine that did a lazy roll
when my father shifted gears.

On the dash, a knob,
block letter C,
that he pulled each morning.
Cold blooded, these Chevies, he’d say.
Then he’d put his foot on the starter,
the one to the right of the gas 
that looked like a wrinkled toadstool,
and push himself back into the seat.
And that business coupe would growl.

After a while he’d stop,
thumb back his hat.
Flooded!  Son of a bitch.
Then a sidelong glance at me.
We’d wait in silence.

The best part was the transmission,
how it howled in second gear.
Not a car sound, an animal sound
and I could hear it a block away,
my father coming home.

Copyright John Sangster 2010