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K.M. St.Claire

Two for the Road

“My car seats two,” he says.
He offers me a ride.
I hear his words and I remember
an MG, low, angular, forest green.
It’s the late ’60s
and Audrey Hepburn, my alter ego, is on the screen,
Albert Finney beside her, at the wheel.
Hepburn and Finney in that two-seater,
devouring miles across Europe,
and each other.

Later, the red Alpha Romeo, Finney’s car
— and his affair. He doesn’t tell her.
Then, two children
to fill the narrow trundle in the rear
of the sporty white Mercedes
with the cream leather seats, his and hers,
an expanded width between them.
Audrey, attractive to many men, little noticed by her spouse,
falls into a love so passionate
she cannot, in her honest way, hold her affair a secret.
Finney, stunned, rediscovers
his love for her and is lost until
she returns. She, the seducer.
“ Pull over,” she says.
“ Here? Not here!”
“ Here,” she quietly insists
as she slips from her silvery party dress,
slithers across the leather...

The man who has offered me a ride
is waiting for my answer.
His eyes, his caring ways,
draw me to him.
He doesn’t look a bit like Finney. Older, better. Much better.
And I, long and lean like Audrey was, but my dark hair streaked with gray.
I smile, daring for a moment to imagine my real life molded out of movie fantasy.
But then I remember the movie’s less-than-perfect-picture life.
My uncertain self, this man,
the winding hills and valleys road of possibilities before us...
I loose the silver clasp that holds the shawl now slipping from my shoulder.
“ Let’s walk,” I say.
“ It’s not too far. Besides,
cars can get so... complicated.”

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