Friday, October 26, 2012

Sunday Drive

image via Google

"Here we go to Sunday school, Sunday school, Sunday school.
Here we go to Sunday school
at 30 miles per hour."
--- little ditty my sister and I made up and sang when we were kids


Riding in the backseat
of my step-great-grandmother's '76 Pacer
on Sunday mornings,
I began to question my belief in God.

I was only nine,

but Nannie took her time
winding her unsteady way to the straight and narrow
little Baptist church on the county line,
with every minute being a thousand years
of swinging from ditch to ditch and swaying
to crackling honky tonk turned holy roller on the AM radio,

so I had plenty of time to think

of how the "tink, tink, tink"
of the right turn signal
blinking mile after mile
reminded me of Moses wandering around the desert for forty years
with the promised land forever
just up ahead . . .

and of how I would have gotten a map, 
instead.

True story.  To this day, traveling slower than the speed limit gives me felonious urges.  Written for Mary's "pet peeves" prompt at Real Toads.

24 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Oh, yes! I do so relate, MZ!!

Laurie Kolp said...

I can here the tink, tink, tink of the turn signal now... and there are many like her still who like to go for those s l o w Sunday drives.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is poem is so much more than a pet peeve. Here we have a bygone era revisited, a child's scratching at boundaries, a path forward which seems too slow to the young, when the old are in no haste to get there.

Patricia Anne McGoldrick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

Fun write! And this bugs me as well!

Brian Miller said...

ha what a treat...neat look back...the tink tink made me smile....ugh we went to this backward baptist church growing up that def made me think seriously about if any of that was true...

Patricia Anne McGoldrick said...

Oops! I will try again… I so enjoyed this poem as I recall many car-rides to Sunday Mass with an over-crowded car. There were 8 children in our family & 2 parents!
Back to your poem, the slow speed, the sound words, all give a glimpse of one of those childhood moments.
Agree with Kerry's comment & your poem does so well to give the child's perspective!

joy said...

You are very good at writing poems. Thanks for the visit and have a nice week end:)

Mary said...

Love it. I can hear that tink, tink, tink too.....but I am sure step great-grandmother was oblivious! I hate the too-slow driver in front of me too; but I try to be sympathetic thinking he/she is probably doing the best he/she can do. And, danged if I have sometimes checked my own blinker going tink tink tink! Yikes!!!! Don't tell.

Kim Nelson said...

This really chaps me, too!

Fireblossom said...

A Pacer! You couldn't roll a Pacer if you tried, they were too low and wide. I've been told that I drive expeditiously. "Like a bat out of hell" are the exact words, usually.

Hannah said...

Mama Zen!!! Your retelling of this most unfortunate truth is so stinkin' hilarious...seriously this really entertained me thank you for the first real great laugh I've had all day!! :)

Also, yes...aside from all the laughing, I'm sorry you had to endure this.

Helen said...

Loved this! My stepfather drove with one foot on the gas, the other managing the brake ... sometimes simultaneously.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I am STILL driving a car that looks like that, only mine has more rust and dents. Hee hee. I LOVED this poem and memory.....my dad used to call slow drivers "the Long Underwear Brigade". Love the turn signal that ticks on forever. I love poems based on childhood memories........so enjoyed this.

Susan said...

" but Nannie took her time
winding her unsteady way to the straight and narrow
little Baptist church on the county line,
with every minute being a thousand years
of swinging from ditch to ditch and swaying
to crackling honky tonk turned holy roller on the AM radio . . ."

O O Laughing so hard it hurts! This took me back, not to church, but to our Sunday rides with Dad singing his spirituals and slowing down so mom could window shoop huses and O so car sick, but it was family time so I had to be there.

I am sure God likes naps just as much as services.
I love your opening ditty and the entire narrative.

Susie Clevenger said...

I love this car ride down memory lane. "winding her unsteady way to the straight and narrow" Love that line!

Daydreamertoo said...

Hehe... My foot tends to be a bit 'heavy' and I get there ..fast!
I've found if I'm behind a snail I tend to loose focus and my mind begins to wander all over the place. We have folks driving here who are in their 80's and 90's. It's a scary thing. LOL
Loved this :)

kaykuala said...

You make it so real and human, MZ! I can relate to such for myself and my neighbor also. Sometimes the car had to be pushed to start! Nicely!

Hank

manicddaily said...

Wonderful snappy cadence but also with winding turns, love the tink tink. K.

Kay L. Davies said...

You had me at step-great-grandmother and I laughed all the way through.
Wonderful, and I also love the line at the bottom "traveling slower than the speed limit gives me felonious urges"!
K

Claudia said...

smiles...now that i'm speeding crazy california freeways right now...the 30 miles in an old car just sound like wonderland for me...understand the questions though..ha...hope the church provided some decent answers...i got the ones that i needed..

Ella said...

OMG Sunday drivers...eeewwww! Thanks for sharing...I think we might of had the same grandmother, lol~
Well Done!

Fred Rutherford said...

this is an incredible piece MZ. I love how you captured the scene so perfectly and the reflections/analysis you made during the scene are a fantastic look into the mind, the reference of Moses and the desert works really nicely here. Great read. Thanks

Shawna said...

I totally thought you were going to end with the fact that Moses never made it to the promised land ... well, his bones did. You could have used your favorite word! ;)

I love this: "took her time
winding her unsteady way to the straight and narrow"