Photo Credit: theviews.com via flicker

Photo Credit: theviews.com via flicker

The dented right fender’s rusted.
Plastic bags seal the driver’s side window.
Dull red paint blankets its body.

Under paper-thin skin, knotted veins bulge.
Crevices slice the worn face; dry eyes peer
from behind smudged glasses.

The old man grabs the keys;
gnarled hands brace a body stooped into a comma.
He shuffles to the door.

The motor sputters,
groans into action,
shimmies down fissured asphalt.

From a crack in the concrete driveway
a violet sprouts, opens
to embrace a sun-filled day.

Down the street, around the corner
a rattletrap truck and its owner
creak into their future.

This poem is loosely based on my grandfather’s 1950’s something red Ford pick up truck. Many happy memories there. When he retired as a civil engineer at age 70, he went up into California gold country, struck a claim, built a cabin, climbed the Sierra to find a source of water, piped it down and worked the mine that was assayed at $.65/ton. It kept him going till he was 88 and lost his vision. He died at age 94.

Linking to dVerse Poet’s Open Link Night where the doors are wide open, waiting for you to stop by and help celebrate 100 weeks of poetic inspiration. Thank you Brian and Claudia and all who tend and participate.



30 thoughts on “Junk

  1. Today, I empathize more than you know…


  2. A man’s truck often captures a part of his soul…. And often our view of the man isn’t complete without it. Your grandfather, a prospector, sounds like a man not afraid to take risks and willing to put all of himself into whatever he believed in. That screams volumes about him. He must have been fascinating……


  3. aka_andrea says:

    I love that you added the story to this, it really filled out the whole image and feel of the piece. Very nice story telling.


  4. sreeja says:

    great…lively memories….. pictured perfect!


  5. a matchless memory !


  6. claudia says:

    love how they both carry their age with dignity and fit so well together…and love the violet part..such a beautiful sprout of hope and life cracking the concrete driveway…


  7. Pamela says:

    You paint quite the picture with your words here, Victoria. Nice poem.



  8. Talon says:

    I loved this. Such wonderful descriptions. This man used to be my father – going off in his old Ford pick-up. You brought back a sharp memory. Thank you.


  9. Mary says:

    Your wording in this poem was wonderful. I can picture the gnarled hands and the body formed into a comma. I can see the similarities between the ‘rattletrap truck’ and the owner. Both of them plodding along, doing the best they can. Their engines STILL running!!


  10. I especially like the violet sprouting through the asphalt. 🙂


  11. Kelvin S.M. says:

    …i wanna join with that squeaking ride… ah, your piece is like a Don Quixote de La Mancha inspired… loved it Victoria… smiles…


  12. Rowan Taw says:

    This is a so full of imagery: the way the truck and the owner mirror each other is so clever, and then the violet peeping out – fabulous!


  13. Rhonda L. Brockmeyer says:

    Oh I love this..your writing takes the reader there. Gorgeous images.


  14. Akila says:

    Very vivid and you celebrate his life with this piece. wonderful! Hats of to his spirit


  15. faraha2g says:

    wonderful. i love this and the story behind it. and my dream truck 🙂


  16. Beth Winter says:

    Oh, Victoria, I know this man, this truck and this moment. Beautifully written.


  17. LaTonya says:

    The kind of poem you want to reread and read again. Great detail and sound, Victoria. I’m am happy when I’m in your world. Thank you.


  18. kamana says:

    great capture!


  19. ayala says:

    Wow..what amazing grandfather. Great capture here 🙂


  20. WOW, 94! Your grandfather was one tough cookie, Victoria! Your words capture such great imagery! The phrase “rattletrap truck” is stuck in my head. The first car I remember as a child was a nondescript green Ford (I think) with rounded top and fenders, circa late ’40’s, early ’50’s. My dad called it a “puddle-jumper!” Enjoyed the memories your tale brought back to me!


  21. Truedessa says:

    The second verse is so descriptive it really brings the picture into focus. Thank you for a nice poem..it brought a happy memory to life for me about my grandfather and his old car.


  22. Your writing is poignant and lovely. How you speak of your grandfather so moving and meaningful. You have captured the love that you had for each other, through your memories of his truck. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Thank you.


  23. kaykuala says:

    So touching a scene! Old faithful can serve well when the owner takes good care! Nicely Victoria!



  24. Rallentanda says:

    My trusty red van has died too. I am converting it into guest accomodation on my property ( sans ensuite:)


  25. Lindy Lee says:

    Some vehicles do have a way of becoming part of a family…


  26. Laurie Kolp says:

    So vivid, Victoria, especially: gnarled hands brace a body stooped into a comma.


  27. brian miller says:

    a body stooped in a comma, what a description…and symbolism as well…ha. my dad had an old rattletrap truck as well…you’d hear it coming well before you saw it…i like your zoom out on the flower in the crack…


  28. Marya says:

    This is such a vivid picture, Victoria! Nicely done.


  29. viv blake says:

    A Hopper painting came into my head on reading your poem. Thank you for your insight.


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