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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 2, June 2019
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Glenn Coats
Carolina Shores, North Carolina, USA


Beyond One’s Control

My father names his trucks, considers size and color, rough or smooth rides, engine power, and the sounds he hears when a window is rolled down. The Chevy truck that he has now is white with red on the sides, plush interior, five speed manual shift, same motor as a Camaro. He names this one after a girl in a Jackson Browne song. Rosie, you’re all right (You wear my ring), When you hold me tight (Rosie, that’s my thing).

It is winter. My father fills the bed of his truck with firewood. Needs the weight to push him up snowy hills. Tonight there is a fine sleet falling and I ask my father to drive me to a party. “Everybody else is going,” I say.

We slide around the turn onto Gallows Hill then fishtail when the road slopes up toward Martha’s store. “I must be crazy,” my father says as he slows the truck down to a crawl. I tell him we’ll never get there if he keeps driving like a turtle.

Dana’s road twists and turns like a snake. We come to a stop sign and the truck spins around in a complete circle like a compass needle. My father and I sit there for a while as sleet sprinkles the windshield. “We’re going home,” my father says, and I tell him that is a good idea. It takes a long time to find our way back. It is just the purr of the motor and the silence in the cab.

snowed in
I pluck the strings
one at a time

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