Danger Days

59-Chevy

Back in the old danger days,
when we were kids, we stood
on the front seat of the Chevy Impala—no seat belts to hold us back,
our mother’s arm the only thing between us and the dashboard,
though sometimes they strapped us into contraptions hooked over
the back of the seat, our chubby legs dangling down, our small hands gripping the frame—all set to be launched through the windshield!
And it is one of the wonders of American life that most of us
survived to drive those cars to the outdoor movies so we could watch
Easy Rider while the crop-dusting planes passed low overhead and the mosquito
control-trucks sprayed DDT down
the streets of our town, a trail of kids on bicycles following behind.
And it probably never occurred to us what a Lawn Jart could do
we were too busy worrying about the end of the world.

(From After Words, Red Dragonfly Press, copyright © 2013 by Joyce Sutphen)

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