Keeping Cool

The used car was a steal
Daddy said.   Air conditioning.
So we piled in and headed
for Richmond.   Broad Street,
downtown—scalding pavement.
What did we care that traffic
crawled?   We enjoyed
the novelty of not sweating.

The woman in the next car
seemed cool, too, as she
asked Mama, “Did you know
you’re on fire?”

Flames shot up from the chassis.
My brother saved himself,
watched from the corner as Mama
turned into Wonder Woman,
yanking me up and over
the front seat.

Now the three of us stood
on the curb yelling at Daddy.
The fireman with a bull horn
yelled, too, “Sir, get out of the car
NOW!” But Daddy just stayed
cool.

© Tennille, published in Wild Goose Poetry Review

Chincoteague Sunset.jpg

© Dennis Jordan