Yahrzeit, November 25, 2011

Up until then I’d never noticed the Chevy. I’m told I was always
cranky on the way from Washington to visit the grandparents
in Wilmington until after they got in the back seat to see why
and realized I’d only had a view of the sky. They propped me up in
some way so I could see outside and I was fine from then on. It
was a longer trip, because unbeknownst to me, the Chevy
wouldn’t go over 40 miles per hour, and all the other cars
would pass us throughout the whole trip. I still watch the
outside when I’m not driving.

But that day I sure did notice, watching out the second floor
window as men pulled up in a tow truck, quickly and
efficiently hooked up my daddy’s car and took it away. I’m
told I walked around pouty or maybe crying, saying “My
Daddy’s Chevy car is a good car. My Daddy’s car is a good
car…” It was roundish solid like refrigerators and busses and
bannisters used to be. Black or dark blue, I don’t know; it was
old dark color.

The next day my mother told me the new Ford was outside. This
is big news; I went directly to the same window to see my
Daddy’s new car, the used Ford. I didn’t like it. It was sleek and
long with bright colors. Straight long lines going all the way
back. It looked like it was built faking it. Like it wasn’t much
car and was made to try to look fancy. So I painfully pictured
my father adjusting to driving it sleek. It would work. He’d
now fit the new way. And then I never noticed the Ford again.

Note on the Poem

Yahrzeit is a Yiddish word meaning “Time of Year” and refers to the anniversary of a relative’s death in Judaic tradition.