pintowagon
Driving Lessons
by Laura Winkelspecht

Learning
to shift
first through
fourth then
reverse
one foot
off gas
one foot
on clutch
start and
stop and
clutch and
shift and
clutch and
gas and
clutch and
shift and
gas and
go and
shift and
gears turn:
freedom
achieved
behind
the wheel
of an
old brown
pinto
station
wagon

IMAGE: Ad for 1972 Ford Pinto.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I learned how to drive a manual transmission in a Pinto station wagon while driving from Wisconsin to Texas with my new husband. With this poem, I used two syllable lines to imitate the short, jerky movement of someone learning how to drive a manual transmission for the first time.

lauraw1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laura Winkelspecht writes with the hope of finding some lightning among the lightning bugs. Her work has been featured in NEAT, Clementine Poetry Review, American Tanka, and she is a contributor to the Wisconsin Poet’s Calendar.