If for a moment I could step out
of my body, I'd sit under a maple in the shade
on a stranger's front lawn
and watch the four of us standing around
my '69 Skylark, leaning under the hood,
inspecting the new water pump, the air filter's
etched blue 350, the steam cleaned valve covers
with tiny flecks of orange paint blasted into a void
where wind fuels blossoms to a fine dust.
If I could step out of my body
I'd lean back into the cool grass, follow
our voyage in Bing's '57 Cadillac with its long chrome,
my twelve-year-old body pressed in the corner
as Brain and Ray and Brian passed 'round beers,
feeling like their twenties would never end,
that not one of us would ever lose a sister, a brother,
a parent or a child, feeling like nothing
could make us vanish into the world.
And now, two decades later, as if
age were never between us, after the nights'
sorrow has pulled our bodies up through the dark,
just four men under the Sonoma sun,
standing on a quiet street while the planet rotates
through the day, each one of us
captured by a Buick's chrome and steel
and perfect lines, this spell,
this sweet ache of time.
Poems by Richard Callin:
TIMES TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets