Poetry Talk

POETRY WINNERS: NOSTALGIA

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The theme for the Fall 2021 edition of Eloquent Mag was NOSTALGIA. The winning poems will be posted on the website this month. They will also be published in the digital ISSUU copy of Eloquent Mag on September 15th.

Driver’s Ed

by R. Skye Lambert

My driver’s ed teacher used to prompt me all the time:

Accelerate at the apex of the curve.

Not before the curve.

Not after the curve.

At the apex.

I just couldn’t wrap my 15-year-old brain around the concept.

Why would I quicken my movement at a pivotal moment?

Shouldn’t that be the slowest?

Before the turn was never the question, at least not for me.

Maybe it was for the boy who sat in the backseat.

Too shy to say my name, but when he was behind the wheel he would go.

What I gathered from Ms. Carns’ description of him – potato sack foot.

I never got to see him drive

but I imagined the weight of his silence

would confront

a gas pedal

with force

wheels

with questions about how

they handle a curve with speed.

Questions I had no desire to search out answers for.

I wanted to learn the curve, feel the curve, breathe it

before deciding what to do with the wheel next.

I wanted to see the trees that swept over the road

straighten their gangly branches

to chase wild fields and poppies floating.

How could I possibly decide on an appropriate speed

without allowing the landscape ahead to unfold first?

And so, I guess, it makes sense that I still lilt

in learning, breathing, feeling moments

because there is all the time in the world

for cruising once the curve has straightened

and the stage opened.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: R. Skye Lambert holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in English. Skye is a social worker at a New England hospital, serving clientele with pervasive mental health diagnoses. Skye is also a musician and songwriter.

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