As a teen-ager, I longed to drive, but because of my visual impairment, I never could. When I was in high school, my grandmother bought a new car, a two-door maroon Cadillac with plush seats and a cool stereo system. It also had power steering, but of course I could never take advantage of that.
Last year, I wrote a poem about this car and how it served Grandma and me through the years. It was recently published in Serendipity Poets Journal and is pasted below for your enjoyment.
As a teen-ager, I loved Grandma’s maroon Cadillac,
its soft, red velvet seats,
automatic windows, stereo speakers,
longed to take the wheel,
cruise up and down Main Street, radio blasting,
have fun fun fun till my granny took the caddy away.
I could never hold the wheel,
put the pedal to the medal.
With eyes that only saw objects and people up close in color,
I could only sit in the passenger seat
while Grandma negotiated the roads,
as we drove to the movies
or to the park for ice cream.
Through the years,
Grandma’s driving became more cautious, less certain.
Eventually, she sat in the passenger seat, said nothing
while I rode in back—
Dad drove us to restaurants or the theater.
When Grandma left this world,
her car and other possessions were sold.
Someone else drives her maroon Cadillac,
lucky to have such a car.
What do you remember about learning to drive? Did your father teach you, or did you take a drivers’ education class in high school? When my younger brother was a teen-ager, my mother encouraged him to fix up our old Mercedes Benz so he could drive it, but he wasn’t interested. Did you ever fix up an old car so you could drive it? If visually impaired like me, who drove you to school or other activities? Please share your memories below, and happy driving, but if you’re visually impaired, let me know when you plan to be on the road.