The bleached dirt shoulders.
The patched road, sagging
from blistering heat and tires.
And the thinnest scent of tar

Surrounded on both sides by ditches,
holding back the enthusiastic greenery

That was the scene as we blasted by on that empty road
in my big sister’s boyfriend’s reddest red Firebird

Weekend after weekend, year after year,
my sister would always take me
down those back roads
to the beach

That strip of sand
between lake and land
would hold me all day

…I remember so clearly…

As I catch the scent of tar
in January
at a red light
twenty years later