Vinyl seats in summer

Once, when days were passed in
backseat view of spruces, boughs
bending darkly over gravel roads,
The sun became a stroboscope
sharply glimpsed through pines.

Car-seat vinyl mock-weave patterns
imprinted on my barelegged skin,
With t-shirt sweat-glued to my back
nauseous minutes crawling
crawling, to a roadside pause
with bread and sun-warm milk.

In smell of oil and gasoline
we, the children should stay silent, but
every time we passed a road-sign
we loudly counted down kilometers,
and if I teased my little sister
it made the car go a bit faster.
Until my parents had enough.

Me and my sister with the old car

Me and my sister with the old car

Corey wants us to bring back the memories of road-trips at toads. For some reason the memories of sitting in the backseat on endless travels came back in my memory. We spend many many hours in that old car. But my sharpest memory is the warm vinyl sticking to my skin, and teasing my little sister.

February 5, 2015

21 responses to “Vinyl seats in summer

  1. Oh, yes…vivid indeed…your details brought me right back, too…we rode in an old Pinto station-wagon…talk about nausea!! Ugh. Wonderful poem I also love the same portion that Debi mentioned…very accurate.

  2. This is an evocative memory poem. We didn’t have a car when I was a child, so I don’t have these kinds of memories, but I can imagine what it would be like from your poem 😀

  3. This reminded me of the rare occasion of riding in the very back of a station wagon when I was about the age of the children in the photo. The seat faced backward, looking out at the cars behind on the highway. We would wave madly, forcing strangers to either respond or concentrate fiercely on ignoring the two brats intent on provoking a reaction. We would pull skinny arms up and down as truckers went by, hoping they would honk their horns. Celebrating whenever they did–which wasn’t often. Yes, there is certainly something universal about those hot car rides when you were a child that stays with you.

  4. How I love the photo! Too cute! Your poem took me right back to those hot vinyl seats, kids in the back, the endless hours of traveling……….once I had a terrible encounter with a revel that melted faster than I could lick, the adults in the front completely spazzing out as I sat helplessly soaked in chocolate and melted ice cream. LOL. You took me back. Decades later, I was driving as my grandson’s ice cream fell off its cone, rolled all the way down his front and he was unable to deal with it. LOL. What goes around, comes around.

  5. Enjoyed this reminiscence, Bjorn! Boys will be boys, I think. Reminds me much of my grandson teasing (irritating, I should say) my granddaughter in the backseat! Love that photo!

  6. LOL!!!! That pattern on the back of your legs would not disappear for hours!!!! Its weird that kids are not the biggest fans of road trips but as an adult, you can appreciate more things about the journey. My step dad was the worst about stopping to let us pee, so I constantly worried about it. It did not make the road trip as a kid any easier….great stuff Bjorn!!!!

  7. This is wonderful and wistful – dreamily articulated in a manner that conjures forth a moment – like a monochrome photo – from a bygone time. AND THAT PICTURE!!! Beyond splendid! What a treasure!

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