PF detail from Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Beach Scene, Guernsey (Children by the Sea in Guernsey) - 1883;


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Last updated:
April 2010


Carolee Sherwood is a painter, mixed-media artist and poet. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Awakenings Review, Wicked Alice, Qarrtsiluni, Literary Mama, Juice: a Journal of the Ordinary, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Tipton Poetry Journal and Ballard Street Poetry Journal. She co-edits Ouroboros Review, contributes to the online magazine and social networking site Read Write Poem and writes reviews for Poets' Quarterly.


Jalopy dear

Attached on one side only,
Jalopy, dear, your front bumper
   is one foot in the grave. All the wishes
your torn bench seat stored
bulge out of blue vinyl,
cartooned speech bubbles, words
   long ago bleached away by the sun.

Old girl, someone has removed your hood,
leaned it against the trunk of a dead tree,
exposed your insides to rain and snow,
showed the world how you succumbed
to the influence of reeds, their violent
whispers twist in every manifold.
What everyone assumes is the windshield
gave way all at once. What they forget
is how collapse is staged,
a progression that begins with a child
throwing stones. Jalopy, dear, I am so sorry

for the holes in your floorboards,
the rusty gaps in your bed.
The rodents’ grotesque invasion
of your most private spaces
haunts me. But darling, how good
your steering wheel feels in my hands.
My fingers curl into its perfect
grooves. How stunning it is the view
across the dashboard, all the gold
in the field melting for us, our afternoon
heat. I rest my foot on the gas, take you
anywhere you want to go.