Park and Ride

He pulls into the park-and-ride, his maroon Oldsmobile covered in dust,

the muffler rattling faintly, radio tuned to gospel music.

He is smiling. Easy to see he is excited, and I wonder why.

No young’un, this guy. Gray, thin hair wisps across a sunburned pate,

his belly rides comfortably over his belt,

and his chin has melted towards his chest.

Still, his anticipation makes him step with a spring out of the car.

He opens the back door and pulls out a pair of shoes, two overnight bags,

then looks toward the highway and at his watch. It is 8:00 pm.

Someone is supposed to be here, picking up Dad or maybe Grandpa,

and taking him…where?

To a funeral? That seems wrong given the man’s happiness. A wedding?

Who gets married on Monday? Maybe a new grandchild has arrived or maybe

Grandpa is just going for a visit. I imagine him, living alone,

eating Vienna sausages and crackers because it’s easy,

sleeping in sweats in his recliner, a man who no longer

worries about how things look or what others think.

And now he is waiting for a new adventure,

and the adventure is late arriving.

I watch this stranger pace around his car,

excitement turning to impatience, and finally to anxiety

as he scans the speeding cars.

Thirty minutes pass; a gold Buick pulls into the lot

and the old man grabs his bags and waves.

They have come, just as they said they would.

Fifty feet away, I can feel his relief.

I let out my breath.

They did not forget.

About grannysu

storyteller, writer, poet, gardener, countrywoman
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2 Responses to Park and Ride

  1. Cindy says:

    I was holding my breath without knowing it! So glad for a happy ending!

  2. wvgcj says:

    I love this one, too.

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