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Old Blue

by William Stafford

Some day I’ll crank up that Corvette, let it
mumble those marvelous oil-swimming gears
and speak its authority. I’ll rock its big wheels
till they roll free onto the drive. Nobody can
stop us then: loaded with everything, we’ll pick up
momentum for the hill north of town. Mona,
you didn’t value me and it’s too late now.
Steve, remember your refusal to go along on
those deals when you all opposed me?—you had
your chance. Goodby, you squealers and grubbies;
goodby, old house that begins to leak, neighbors
gone stodgy, days that lean casually grunting
and snoring together. For anyone who ever needs
the person they slighted, this is my address: “Gone.”

“Old Blue” by William Stafford from The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems. © Graywolf Press, 1999. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

*DISCLAIMER: I don’t own a Corvette, I don’t harbor resentments against anyone named “Steve”, and don’t know anyone named Mona (but you’re better off without her, buddy). But who among us hasn’t had the urge to take off one day, say goodbye to the squealers and grubbies and days that grunt and snore together. The day’s coming…. I can almost hear the the crunch of big wheels on gravel, the burbling, throaty rumble of an old ‘Vette… Ah, yesssss.

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