Fruit Pastilles

Granny B had a lot to say about other drivers,
which is ironic
as I consider myself among the survivors
of her unique approach to the road …

The mysteries of the yellow cross hatch
made for many a puzzled scratch
of the head as she coasted
with a slipped out clutch
and never attempted
that feathery touch
on the break
to save her passengers
the ache of a
swift stop
that made your heart
drop into your shoes.
She’d stress about the roundabout,
pulling her hair out
when they added extra lanes.
You could almost see the veins
on every drive to do the shopping.
Each drive had the potential
to become a palava
because she’d rather
have clear roads of joyous isolation,
give into the temptation
to slip the stick into neutral
and pootle
all the way

She was a great co-pilot though
and that’s when we’d
grow close
and learn to love
the oddness of each other.

She’d always have a roll of suckers,
ready for the parched lip puckers
of a long drive without water,
kicking ourselves because we ought’ve
remembered to bring a bottle.

My other Granny would
also bring sweets
and put them in a jam jar
in between the seats.
Like her.

Not so with Granny B,
who, like me,
would stash the sweets amongst
the handbag fluff,
sticky enough to attract
all manner of detritus.
We’d suck those crystalline shells
off the Fruit Pastilles,
smiling and whiling the drive away,
spotting Eddie Stobart lorries
(their names were the quarries)
and tallying them to keep
the boredom at bay …
I suppose I could say
that, even though I complained about
carting her here, there and everywhere,
I came to care
very deeply
about our car time together,
that simple pleasure
of memories to treasure
now that my passenger seat is empty.

5 thoughts on “Fruit Pastilles

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