In this second installment of “Car Poems,” Bird Williams recalls a car that was her partner in quest and part of her journey to freedom.
By Bird Williams
We rode those streets in search of something more
than another night of six packs in my car.
We rode those streets like we’d been there before.
In a rusted-out Camaro bought cheap to restore
we crossed the Georgia line in search of bars
and rode those streets in search of something more
than the endless TV gray inside the door
of one more mill-town evening, too familiar
to those of us who’d seen it all before.
So I raced red lights while you kept score
and Lynyrd Skynyrd played on blown-out woofers
and we rode around restless, wanting more,
but not knowing where to find it. Then, already 4
and low on gas, we sneaked up groaning stairs
that had given us away late nights before
and found my bed. Feet dangling toward the floor
to stop the room from spinning, no answers
for the questions in our heads, we tried to imagine more
and stared at peeling walls we’d searched before.
Bird Williams is a poet, artist, and publisher who earned an MFA in writing from American University. She lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with her wife, daughter, two horses, numerous cats, and a pit bull. She grew up in small-town South Carolina, but left as soon as she could—and still misses that Camaro.