"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Left to Rust

He drove it there to rust,
to free it like it was a stallion
that could not be tamed.

His youth had been lived
in four wheel drive
and whiskey shots.

The old truck had seen it all,
first kisses, lost virginity,
tears from losing a brother in Iraq.

It was his mobile confession booth
where only he, God, and the upholstery
knew the sins of a Saturday night.

He couldn’t let it end up in a junk yard.
to be picked apart by wrenched vultures
with no respect for its history.

This field on his grandfather’s farm
with tall grass and east Texas sun
would be his truck’s final resting place.

He knew he couldn’t, wouldn’t come back.
to see it decay into tin metal bones.
It was time to let go and move on.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
Today's Challenge at Real Toads was to use
one of Shanyn Silinski's photographs
for inspiration to create a written work for the Sunday Challenge.
You can find more of Shanyn's  beautiful photography at 


Kerry O'Connor said...

This is an amazing story - the link between youth, a truck and a man grown to maturity.

Mary said...

You brought life and history to the photograph you chose. I love the words "to free it like it was a stallion that could not be tamed." I feel, after reading your poem, as if I know the man you created in this poem.

Zoe Francesca said...

This is incrediblly poignant - sad but not raw. I absolutely love it! I can see its history - you have painted it so clearly yet so tenderly emotively.

Margaret said...

mobile confession booth
where only he, God, and the upholstery
knew the sins of a Saturday night.

Wow... very earth, just loved this.

Mystic_Mom said...

Susie - thank you for doing the challenge, I do not think I've ever read a more perfect tribute to a guy's truck! Wonderfully done...I know my hubby will appreciate it too being a truck guy!

Marian said...

i like this, it's rather epic what the upholstery knows.

Mama Zen said...

What an outstanding piece! "Mobile confession booth." That's brilliant.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love this story, Susie: the youth "lived in four wheel drive and whiskey shots", the mobile confessional....and a great closing line. Well done!

Heaven said...

I love the picture...and your words is perfect. As a final resting place, and to move on...beautiful ~

Fireblossom said...

You gave this poor old hulk of a truck a entire rich history, Susie. Noble truck!

Shawna said...

"He knew he couldn’t, wouldn’t come back.
to see it decay into tin metal bones.
It was time to let go and move on."

Such wisdom in this, knowing when to let go. All things die eventually.


Kay L. Davies said...

Fabulous, Suzie. I'm sure I know that guy, that field, and the truck that's been set free. Very well done.

Susie Swanson said...

This is a moving tribute to that old truck. you made it come alive..

Geraldine said...

Wonderful words Susie.

This poem conjured up some "moments" for me too, also in trucks LOL, a long time ago but memorable.

You've captured the setting and the emotions so well...

Laurie Kolp said...

If only that truck could talk, right? I really like this, Susie.


Ben Ditty said...

So beautiful. Still crying.

Enigmatic Soul said...

Brilliant and captivating. Your words convey such a deep connection between the man and his truck; it is understandable that he cannot see it being torn apart, piece by piece. Outstanding. I loved it.

Shauna said...

certain object carry so much of life in them ours and their own
spirit as well.

well-written Susie.

Mark Windham said...

I remember this, loved it then too. Great Piece.

Joseph Hesch said...

Let me the first guy to comment... Amen, Susie!!!

Many of us men can be unsentimental slobs, but we also can connect history and emotion to something as seemingly ugly and mundane as a rusted bucket F-150 or Silverado.

Well captured here, young lady! ;)

~ j

Ginny Brannan said...

So many memories with this "friend." That which means so much is always remembered in the best light. Beautifully captured, Susie.

Claudia said...

there can be a tight connection with a car...reminded me a bit of my own first car...a yellow VW beetle...loved it dearly and it could tell some stories as well.. enjoyed your poem susie

Brian Miller said...

It was his mobile confession booth
where only he, God, and the upholstery
knew the sins of a Saturday night

nice...love that stanza...and i also like that in hte end he knew it was time to move on...and not look back...

Quirina said...

Fantastic and beautiful poem, Susie! The only thing that tames that stallion is the rust.

Daydreamertoo said...

Maybe it's just as well the truck can't talk. There's no telling what it might say :)

poemsofhateandhope.com said...

Susie - this is great- what a fantastic metaphor for a difficult life....sometimes you've just hit to leave it behind and start anew...fantastic

mrs mediocrity said...

love this... reminds me very much of some men i know...

henry clemmons said...

So kool, a song and a presentation of respect for purpose and past. This was prob one poem we didn't need the photo, your description was top notch. The confessional line was awesome. Inspiring write. Very well done.

ayala said...

Love this, an awesome write!

kaykuala said...

This is an interesting story, Susie! And I imagine many can relate to the goings-on of youth so distinctly narrated. The folly of youth to let it rot just cannot be explained and many similar episodes of hard to explain youthful matters happened elsewhere too! Great write, Ma'am!


Tigerbrite said...

Love it. Well done

vivinfrance said...

I felt the nostalgia and sympathised with the narrator. What our old vehicles could tell about us!


Beachanny said...

East Texas, piney woods, tall weeds and a rusted truck tell the story of a boy grown to man, a truck mother laid to rest, and a life altered to responsibilities and the new roads of manhood. So beautifully written in a language we share.

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