That day, the doctor came in
looking serious. “Mr. Brown,
you’re becoming a limousine.”
Evidently I’m carrying
passengers, and not necessarily
ones I’d choose on my own.
“Will I at least get to wear
something special? I’d even settle
for a good hat,” I begged.
“No, I’m afraid not,” he said in a puzzled tone.
“You don’t get to drive the limousine,
you are the limousine.”
Well, It’s not a bad life.
I’m getting used to it.
and when the noise in the back
gets to be too much,
I raise the glass and forget it.
Once in a while
a voice will catch me right
and I’ll listen longer than usual,
maybe repeat what it says
to a friend or two
when I get a rare moment off,
changing the names (of course)
as confidentiality is key in this job.
I’ve seen some wild things so far
but the strangest moments
have come when only one rider
is present. Sometimes
they’re filled with chatter,
other times they ride silently
absorbed in their own concerns.
When that happens I make up
stories about them, stories
where I’m a player for a change.
The person gets out of me,
I turn back into my old self,
we sit on the curb and talk.
But I know that’s just a crock.
These folks don’t care about me
as long as they get where they’re going.
I sit in the lot
and wait for them to come back
for the ride home from their gala nights,
their weddings, their funerals.
I am nothing until they board and settle in.
I don’t know what to call myself
when I’m not filled:
a car, a box,
a shadow in an unlit space.