My Father’s Eyes
Hard to believe these cars were ever real:
a dark blue 1950 Ford Coupe,
a 1955 Desoto Firedome,
and a light green Cadillac Fleetwood
from 1957, the kind my father drove.
And here it is in an ancient magazine,
brand new, air-brushed,
that glassy emerald finish
like the surface of a lake.
My dad would thumb through
his Life and Colliers
as if strolling the galleries of an art museum.
He loved the shark fins,
the sheer half-a-block length of these machines.
They were his Delauney, Chagall and Matisse
via the wiz kids of Detroit and Madison Avenue.
The metal may be long interred,
but not the memories,
yellowing though they are,
buried in a trunk beneath photo albums
and some favorite books from childhood.
I’m sure the automobile itself
clanged and complained
and guzzled gas and oil
like the worst kind of freeloader.
But I have my father’s eyes so they say.
And that dream has long outlived the reality.
John Grey is an Australian poet and US resident. He has recently been published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Gargoyle and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.