I don’t remember much
about our old DeSoto
except huge lobster-eye
headlights bulging over
fender waves, a long black
running board, and warm
brown mohair against my cheek
riding home in winter night,
but I recall our ice-blue Hudson
from that Lake Street lot we
loved to roam with Dad.
Its bright chrome grill dazzled
across the whole front end
above a shiny, thick steel
bumper that could never bend.
Then came a green Packard
Clipper, rounded like a massive
armored turtle with a small silver
swan up front that Dad pushed
to 90 along the Mississippi
heading toward La Crosse.
One day he brought home to
my brother and me a nice old
beige Studebaker Champion
with a bullet nose, flathead six,
clutch, and three on the column.
Dad and all his favorite makes are
gone, their hood ornaments hard
to find as a shoulder patch from his
V Amphibious Corps, and the old lot
on Lake features a “Manager’s
Special” from Mitsubishi, builder
of light, fast Zero carrier aircraft.
Recent work by Raymond Byrnes has been read on “The Writer's Almanac” and accepted/published in Main Street Rag, Third Wednesday, Shot Glass Journal, and numerous other places. For many years, after leaving a tenured position teaching college English in the Midwest, he managed communications for the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Land Imaging Program. He lives in Virginia.