Old joy leaps in a nerve,
Old joy alive like a Chevrolet
That suddenly starts in deep, dead January.
The heater sends up cold dust.
The windows are bleak with ice,
But we suddenly remember and we are moving now.
Why do voices lull us from sleep?
Why is this old joy like a car in winter?
Chevrolet, turn the highway stripes
Into a spitting white line.
White line, blaze beneath us.
Old joy, drive us on
As we hurtle toward slow and sleepy death
As if it were Chicago
And we had to be there by dark.
12 March, 1975, and 26 January, 2016.