A Driving Instructor's First Water Bottle

Arlene Ang


"You'll get used to it in time," said the Caterpillar; and it put the hookah into its mouth and began smoking again.
- Lewis Carroll

It was supposed to be a left turn.
He thought of his students
as kitchen utensils. It made them
more manageable in his mind.
This morning he had Stainless Colander.
She manhandled the gear stick
and swerved right into a dead-end.
He never shouted above
the radio's Murder Mystery Hour.
He wanted to know who killed the weatherman
in the patio with a garden hose.
Between him and Colander,
they didn't see it coming:
on the ground, already half-crushed,
a plastic water bottle.
It made a broken sound
under the tires. He absorbed
the crackle like a sponge. He understood
that Colander thought it was rain,
loose change. There she was, yet again,
staring into space. He commanded
a U-turn. Eleven maneuvers
in thirty minutes: they ran over the same
water bottle twice. And all that time,
there she was saying:
I'm getting the hang of this. I really am.


Copyright 2006 by the Tipton Poetry Journal.

All rights remain the exclusive property of the individual poet and may not be used without their permission.