Poetry – “When They Said I Couldn’t Drive Anymore”




When They Said I Couldn’t Drive Anymore // by Jennifer Patino


The driver’s seat

is a space

occupied by control freaks


I gave it up,


without a fight


I focused on the lines

& how they blurred

into every other back seat


Newly upholstered, covered in trash,

from the ceiling, from crouched down on the floor,

from turning around to glare


High beams are too bright

& I am tired of having to explain

how I can only see in the dark,


How I can see the white deer

dart out in front of me

when I am stationary,


When I am pretending

to go out walking

because I gave up that seat


I told you I gave up control

to whomever took up most of my attention

& to whomever felt the need to be free


That day there was a crash

& I wasn’t in it, but I

felt it, & at times I still hear it


I can picture it

in every crosswalk

& in every blue flashing bulb


Someone once told me

that he lost someone in an accident

& I thought of that unnamed girl, too


I thought of my mother running

to check on survivors,

(were there any survivors?)

& I was frozen & smashed


Front bumpers, back bumpers;

To whomever wanted to go too fast,

or complain that I was too slow,


Again, you’re back in control

& I’m out of it;

I’m out of fuel for the fire of this memory



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