by Ginger Andrews

Using salal leaves for money,
my youngest sister and I
paid an older sister
to taxi an abandoned car
in our backyard. Our sister
knew how to shift gears,
turn smoothly with a hand signal,
and make perfect screeching stop sounds.

We drove to the beach,
to the market, to Sunday School,
past our would-be boyfriends’ houses,
to any town, anywhere.
We shopped for expensive clothes everywhere.
Our sister would open our doors
and say, Meter’s runnin’ ladies,
but take your time.

We rode all over in that ugly green Hudson
with its broken front windshield, springs poking
through its back seat, blackberry vines growing
through rusted floorboards;
with no wheels, no tires, taillights busted,
headlights missing, and gas gauge on empty.

“Rolls-Royce Dreams” appears in Ginger Andrews‘ collection An Honest Answer (Story Line Press, 1999), available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ginger Andrews, born in North Bend, Oregon, in 1956, won the 1999 Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize with her volume, An Honest Answer. She has lived most of her life in Oregon, where she cleans houses for a living with her sisters. She is also a janitor and Sunday School teacher at her church. Her poems have appeared in The Hudson Review, Poetry, River Sedge, The American Voice, and in several anthologies, including Good Poems edited by Garrison Keillor. Keillor has read poems from An Honest Answer more than ten times on The Writer’s Almanac.

Photo: “1935 Oldsmobile” by Rich K, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.