On Saturday mornings
when my mother called a cab
to take us to town,
it was usually my uncle Paul
who pulled into our driveway.
He drove a white Dodge sedan,
its interior sun warmed
and scented with his pipe tobacco smoke.
He spoke few words during our ride,
and his Tennessee drawl was slow and quiet—
like his driving—
his calm demeanor hiding any chaos
he must have felt twenty years before
in his Second World War days,
a shortened arm the only hint
of an injury suffered then.
The past seemed to have been forgotten
when we climbed into Paul’s taxicab
for our short ride downtown.
His back seat was a sanctuary—
safe and warm and sweet.