A delicate rain against the lush grass,
yesterday’s apple core dries
on the dashboard of the truck.
I drive away from home, reading
the “Lake Closed” sign as I pass.

A sheep dog gazes from the back seat
of a car in front of me.
We crawl into the new year,
wondering what will come with us,
contemplating large issues,
like clipping the torn plastic
lining from inside my book bag,
to salvage it a little longer
vs. buying a new cloth bag.

A song plays on the radio that I used to hear
driving down a curvy Missouri road,
a highway featured in Road and Track,
one summer when my father
was in the hospital, and I feared dying
though it was, in fact, years before that.

Home has grown too tame for me,
but then it always has been.
I stare into the back of a red ’56 Chevy
and start to sweat,
the blue Chevy symbol in the middle of the trunk
echoes the blue California license plate.
In Feng Shui red is a lucky color,
blue the least desirable color of all.
I follow the Chevy down the road,
the bulky man behind the wheel
is wearing a blue shirt.

Last night the t.v. sports caster
reminisced about his first car,
a 1970 Vega.
“He’s young,” I said, without
bothering to look at the screen,
“if his first car wasn’t a ’56 Chevy.”
I lose the Chevy as he makes a left turn,
I’ve lost a lot of things in life that way.
Sometimes by jigging left, sometimes by keeping
to the straight path.
Early in the new year a soft rain falls,
something has shifted and I can’t say what,
but I am grateful for the change.