dispersing & reflecting light through poetry

NaPoWriMo Day 4

Day 4 [8:39-9:02 am; 9:30-10:18 pm]
Trains, Planes and Automobiles. Write a poem that takes place entirely inside one of these – or a boat, of course! (https://belljarblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/napowrimo-prompts-week-one/)

First Full-Length Feature Film at the Drive-In, 1969

The back seat was pulled down
opening the full length
of the back of our drab olive green
family station wagon;
blankets and pillows spread
on the metal flooring–
my younger brother and two sisters
already asleep after the cartoons.
The dancing sodas and candy
invited us to visit the snack bar,
but we brought our own popcorn,
popped at home,
in brown paper bags;
the cost of theater snacks was too high for us
even then.

And this time,
this time
I would stay awake for the real movie.

True Grit–starring John Wayne,
with a patch on one eye,
drunk, and shooting a rat
in the corner of a cramped shack;
and Glenn Campbell,
along for the ride;
and a girl
(I can’t remember her name),
seeking revenge.

I sat behind my parents,
each on their side of the bench seat
of that late model station wagon.
The tin-can acoustics from the lone speaker
hung from my father’s window
provided a realistic soundscape
for my seven-year-old ears;
the giant screen in the distance
over the roofs of all those cars,
another world.
Last thing I remember:
the girl getting snake bit
on her leg in a pit
and John Wayne cutting the bite
and spitting out the venom.

We rode out that night
over the raised rows of dirt,
out of that darkening drive-in lot
in a shower of headlights
as the credits rolled.

Copyright © 2016 Scott Daniel Massey


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