The Ghost and the Car

by Larry Chamberlin   May 4, 2015


We drove up the dark mountain side
winding roads with a long drop down
tires squealing around each hairpin curve
Jo sitting up on the back seat laughing
with her corn silk hair blowing out the back.

The scenic park - we pulled in sharp
gravel skidded us to the low stone wall
where Jo leaped over the door even faster
than I could tumble out the drivers side
and meet her teetering on the overhang.

Tennessee Valley spread out below us
from Lookout Mountain far ahead
to the old Suck Creek to our right
and miles of trees blanketing the slopes
from hundreds of feet beneath our toes.

Craziest dance I have ever done:
radio blasting from the car,
"Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers;
we were toe tapping on a nine inch ledge
and every time I swung her past we'd kiss.

Were we drunk, of course - you bet!
We hadn't had a drop or smoked a puff
but we were young and had each other
that was intoxicating fair enough;
sent us rocking, reeling, tumbling off.

Can't remember getting down,
woke up at her place left at dawn;
no regrets, no conditions
no commitments to each other
three years later she was gone.

I've passed that spot a few times since
and once in the dark of the moon
climbed down to that ledge again
gazed at the mighty Lookout
and a breeze came up - wild and gentle.

Softly a radio played somewhere
"they've given you a number
and taken 'way your name . . ."
and as I put out my arms I felt
the weight of your tears go 'bye.

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Latest Comments

  • 2 years ago

    by Meena Krish

    There is a longing for a lost innocence, a sense of loss hangs over memories which were once so alive and true with a promise never to vanish. I like the title for the ghost in this context represents a past that was loved, or past that has departed, or a past which you know is never going to be lived.

    I don't know but its what this says to me...sad and pain for something which used to make you smile now you accept it as sadness with open arms.

  • 2 years ago

    by Michael D Nalley

    This will be my favorite poem of the many masterpieces you have shared . I have been there several times