2011 – Susan E. Ruhl – On the Road with Lester

SNHU Undergrad Poetry Winner from the 2011 issue

On the Road with Lester
Susan E. Ruhl

Lester is tan. “Old-man-tan” is what I call it;
Honda calls it “titanium.” “Like replacement
hips,” a friend said, and I almost choked on
my coffee. Lester is named for my grandfather
who was a mechanic—I believe this carries
some sort of talismanic power. Lester, the man,
was tan in his own way too. But sometimes
when you’re a kid living in a world of way too
much crazy, tan is good. Tan is stable. Tan
is kind. Tan is quiet. Lester, the car, is that
good sort of tan too and when the days start
to become crooked like the stairs of an
abandoned house, leading nowhere and
completely forgotten, Lester takes me places
where I am nameless and invisible in that way
that lets me just be tan.

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