O, ’66 Plymouth Valiant! In you will I put my trust.
Your chromed, Barracuda hood ornament leads me.
Your tuck ’n roll bucket seats comfort me.
Your 400-horsepower Hemi engine will save me
from being shamed by a Biscayne dragging Main Street.
Though I double-clutch down Red Mountain, I will not fear,
for your disc brakes and your Hurst shifter are with me.
Your tubular suspension protects me. Your roll bar
watches over me—a halo of chrome-moly black steel.
Your aluminum wheels and positraction rear end
will carry me from the Midwest to New Mexico.
Even though I cross-country to San Francisco,
I have no need for a motor hotel. In truck stop
parking lots, your double bass exhaust is hushed,
while a waitress prepares a table before me of pork chops,
buttered toast, hash browns, and fried eggs sunny-side up.
You anoint my hands with grease. The sweet smell
of gasoline will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the pleasures of your back seat forever.
Terry Lucas is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Altar Call (one of four prize-winning chapbooks anthologized in Diesel, 2013), and If They Have Ears to Hear (Southeast Missouri State University Press, 2013). His two full-length poetry collections are In This Room (CW Books, 2016), and Dharma Rain, forthcoming from Saint Julian Press. He was the winner of the 2014 Crab Orchard Review Special Issue Feature Award in poetry. Terry is the co-executive editor of Trio House Press and a freelance poetry consultant at http://www.terrylucas.com.