Patti Masterman


You Can Tell A Lot About Someone - Poem by Patti Masterman

You can tell a lot about someone by their driving style:
The old sometimes drive very slowly,
Trying not to out-drive the distance
That they can still easily see, up ahead of them-
Which usually isn't very far.
It almost seems as if they are continuously aware
Of every pound, of the heavy anvil
That they feel themselves, to be at the helm of;
And that they're trying, with nearly painful concentration
Not to hurt anyone else, with all the weight of that awkward missile.

Middle-aged people are often more capricious;
Capable women and men; of a certain age and outlook;
They often virtually live in their vehicle, which they maneuver
Quickly and skillfully, in and out of traffic,
Very much like a competent taxi-driver; which, if you suggested it to them,
They might agree with in every way, and not be insulted at all.
It is almost as if the car were another small, firm and sleek body of theirs;
A surrogate body, that they are melding into the flow with;
The body they wish subconsciously that they still possessed,
And which perhaps can compensate, to some degree, for the growing lack
In myriad other departments.

The new driver with a little experience
Is soon driving with much more confidence
Than he probably should; but luck is often with him;
So he can avoid a lot of bad Car-ma, could derail his future travel.

And the just-learning driver is universally identifiable,
World over; as the car first speeds up,
And then comes to a sudden screeching halt, again and again:
Almost as if the driver hasn't quite made up his mind
Whether or not he really wants to assume the responsibiliites
And risks, of such a dangerous pastime after all.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010



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