“A Car in the Field” by Bill Neumire

Bill Neumire


The season is blank; bearded face
scraped to flesh. Black vines
and branches trickle up. The car
is carapaced in ice, abandoned
at summer’s end in this cornfield
so the cops won’t find it incriminating,
illegal, expired. Someone tried
to start it last month in the dark, cut
the right wires and spliced them together,
waited for a spark of ignition, a joyride
with the girl who only goes
with boys who drive Camaros.

When the weather drops below zero
I recall the law of impermanence
that governs our universe and keeps me
insistent: someday this will be
different: ice will be water and the car will tear
up the field in a storm of mud, lightning
under the hood. The boy will get the girl,
trees will remember their leaves
and I will believe that no
death lasts forever.

from Rattle #24, Winter 2004


Bill Neumire: “I write, as Merwin has said, to get one moment right.”

Rattle Logo