Whitewater Canyon Road, crosswinds trapping
dirt. She reached from the passenger side
to turn the music down. My blues channel.
She wanted my attention. Said it was high time
to rid the back seat of empty pizza boxes.
You’re going to learn one hell of a hard lesson
about vermin if you don’t. Those were her exact
words. And sure, I can understand. Not that anyone
sits back there now. But summer is coming
and the seats could turn gamey with squalor.
Things could die and leave tiny skeletons.
I tried to lighten her up, said it could be worse —
at least I rid the seats of the sardine cans. Besides,
it hurt my right shoulder to reach around to grab
the boxes. My left shoulder hurt as well,
stiff from a tetanus shot. Rotten excuses,
but I said them anyway. So all I did was sandbag,
turn the radio back up. She glared at me.
I said, “Wow, babydoll – listen to this:
a solo stringed lament, a soft cello in low
register. When you don’t have frets or keys
you can slide all around.” She said what’ll slide
all around is vermin on my seats. Oh well.
A man’s gotta try. Even the blues can backpedal.