Back in the Day

Riding along in my deuce & a quarter
Yes, it’s a black Electra 225 Buick
with 455 Big Block engine.

Off the showroom floor with chrome
with “see-your-face” mag wheels

Put a speck of dirt on her body or white walls:
Revenge is loud.

Deuce is a quiet, queenly Highway Baby.
Hail to highs of the 20th Century.
Riding & styling in bell bottoms & platforms,
my lady & me cruise with Aretha
in the eight-track player

& the party jumps into high gear
finger poppin,’ head boppin,’ body rockin’
& Ella scatting. My baby laughs,
chiming in off-key rhythm.

The night goes like that
till we stop at Jimmy’s for catfish to go
We’re chomping & bumping
as Deuce burns up the blacktop.

At midnight we slow the pace down
& throw in Smokey who croons “Quiet Storm.”
“Soft and warm,
quiet as when flowers stalk at break of dawn,
at break of dawn…quiet storm…blowing…”
his voice whipped-cream smooth

We cool like that. So cool, so cool our
air-conditioner shuts off in midtown.
It’s ninety but we don’t notice.

(c)Joyce Evans-Campbell

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