Learning the Hard Way

POETRY PROMPT: Write about a car trip.

Everything had seemed to go perfectly when she left home.

Then her first drink of the day from the drive-thru had too much foam.


Her one allotted napkin hadn’t helped much with the spill.

One small disaster wouldn’t spoil her day, not with her strong will.


Barely out of town, her GPS went a little crazy.

The screen blinked and blinked until it looked hazy.


Fine. She would just refer to the map she’d brought along.

She turned the radio on, barreling down the highway, and sang every song.


The passenger’s window suddenly decided to roll down.

“What the heck?” she grumbled with a frown.


Try as she might, it refused to go back up.

Troubled by that problem, she missed seeing the big bump.


She was jostled around, hitting her shoulder hard on her door.

As she mumbled “Ouch!” her purse dove off the other seat to the floor.


The radio began randomly changing stations.

Her sunglasses slipped off her face, adding to her frustrations.


All of a sudden, the horn started an endless blaring.

No matter what she did, it wouldn’t stop, and she began swearing.


Passing drivers gave her the stink-eye for honking.

Ignoring them, she gave the steering wheel a good pounding.


Nothing stopped the irritating noise, stopped the radio, or raised the window.

With all the mounting problems, she prayed she didn’t make Eric a widow.


Understanding the trip was doomed, she turned the car around.

“Please, please, please,” she begged, “get me back home safe and sound.”


Two miles later, the window went up, and the horn stopped blaring.

Her phone rang and when she answered, Eric asked, “How are you faring?”


“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you about it all.

I’m coming home for now, maybe I’ll try again in the fall.”


The horn gave one last unasked-for beep, and the window eased a bit lower.

She gave the GPS now happily leading her home a glower.


Clearly the car didn’t like her going off on her own without him.

“Let’s go together next time,” she said on a whim.


“Name the date and I’ll clear my schedule, I promise.”

He hadn’t this time, which was why she was in this mess.


No, she couldn’t blame him for her act of rebellion.

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have made this rash decision.”


“Doesn’t matter. I love you whatever you do.”

She blinked back tears, hurried toward home. “I love you, too.”

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