Forty-Eight and Under

dashboard
Everyone tells me I’m forty-eight.
The calendar confirms this and the mirrors all agree.

But there was that moment the other night
when you parted your lips to laugh
and brushed my knee with a carefree hand.
There must have been some magic in that.

The china and linen on which we dined
turned into plastic trays on plastic sheets
and there we were, in a grade school cafeteria,
you, the new girl, and me, the class clown,
doing what I could to make the young girls laugh
because I’ve always loved the sound.

Later, on the drive back home,
you leaned across the console
and whispered a secret incantation
that changed the  keys in my ignition
into a set reluctantly handed over by my father on a Saturday night in June.

It sent my eyes scanning
for a place to tuck the borrowed wheels
so I could make you laugh some more,
and turn the volume down
on all your mother’s warnings.

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