Ellen Sazzman


The smooth scent of gasoline infuses
the air at the corner Sohio station.
I languish between Dad and Mom
on the leather front seat of the '56
aqua-finned Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight.

Dad rolls down the window, tells Bob
(his name embroidered on his pocket)
to fill ’er up with premium.
Despite the promise of full service,
Dad stands to sponge her windshield,

check the oil, talk transmissions
(Dad who soothed cars and women
but never earned a living). Mom waits
patiently, reading her Ladies Home
Journal (the latest advice on how to gel

Ambrosia Cabbage Mold). I breathe in
the magic potion of her White Shoulders
and his AquaVelva (sweet ferment
of their short-lived matrimony);
and I fidget in the warm middle,

pop out the dashboard's chrome-knobbed
cigarette lighter, bring it to my nose tip,
and stare cross-eyed at its red-orange iris.
Her eye glows hard at me, not blinking, never
giving away the secret of the superheated ring.

Ellen Sazzman
Ellen Sazzman is a writer, mother, and practicing lawyer in the Washington, D.C. area. She has been published in Proposing on the Brooklyn Bridge: Poems About Marriage edited by Ginny Lowe Connors. She has also been published in the Legal Studies Forum, Rockhurst Review, Potato Eyes, Soul Fountain, and the California Quarterly. She has received honorable mentions in the Anna Davidson Rosenberg poetry contest sponsored by the Judah Magnes Museum, Berkeley, California, and received a free verse award in the 1999 International Poetry Contest of the National League of American Pen Women.



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