If it ain't broke, don't fix it
Driver’s Ed
by Jennifer Lagier

Our high school class
took turns behind the wheel
of a column shift Chevy.
Read DMV handbooks,
then watched gory films
of horrific car wrecks.

Brake, clutch and gas pedals
required coordination
we had not yet mastered.
Kept us lurching across
an asphalt volleyball court
while our impatient instructor
stomped the floorboard,
grabbed the steering wheel,
barked orders.

Back home, in the orchard,
dad ignored my protests,
insisted I move his truck
to make room for the tractor.
Grimaced but didn’t say a word
when I side-swiped a peach tree,
amputated mirror, door and fender.

PHOTO: “Old Truck” by Motion Shooter, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem provided an opportunity to revisit my high school driver’s ed class and an incident that happened that summer.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Lagier has published 10 poetry books and in literary magazines. She taught with California Poets in the Schools and is now a retired college librarian/instructor, member of the Italian American Writers Association, co-edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Her first full-length book, Harbingers, is forthcoming from Blue Light Press.

PHOTO: The author at Point Lobos, California, taken by Laura Bayless.