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Learning to Drive
Mary Ray Goehring


My dad took the first crack
at teaching me to drive.

Backing out our driveway,
calm and cool, he reminded me
to take it slow because of the steep
dip before the road,
but after an adventurous first lesson—
the yelling and the tears—
he forgot to remind me again as we return home.

Going too fast, I hit the driveway
like a cyclist throttling a motocross jump
bounced up the entrance
arcing over the driveway onto the front lawn
then slamming to a stop
three feet from the living room bay window.
we both get out of the car to a
round of applause from the Prohuska boys
who happen to be sitting on their front stoop
across the street.

After that my mom,
and sometime later,
my mom -in-law
took over the lessons.

© by Mary Ray Goehring.
Used here with the author’s permission.


Mary Ray Goehring is a retired landscape designer who migrates between the Central Wisconsin prairie and the pine forests of East Texas. She enjoys writing about her family, friends, and nature. Mary's work has been published in a variety of journals and anthologies. 




Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
A vivid description! I remember one of our daughters almost ran one of our cars into the back end of the other one when she was learning to drive. Giving driving lessons made me a nervous wreck, so I left it up to my husband. Thanks for a good laugh.
Posted 04/28/2024 09:50 PM
I laughed so hard! Really a fun and hilarious lesson indeed! I was there with you all the way. You indeed brought a realism that allowed me to laugh with you. Thank you for your wonderful storytelling poem. It was LOL funny!
Posted 04/28/2024 09:20 PM
Lori Levy:
Made me laugh out loud too! I think were all identifying with this!
Posted 04/28/2024 05:12 PM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
I love this witty, wise relatable poem. Reminds me of my first driver's lesson with my Uncle Jack. Only no one else in the family knew how or had the patience so I just taught myself. Learning by experience was how I taught myself most everything.
Posted 04/28/2024 01:47 PM
Laugh out loud wonderful, and I agree that it truly has a movie like quality .. I was feeling myself airborne, landing on that lawn and then the sudden burst of laughter from the unexpected audience . Fabulous filming with words!! thank you thank you
Posted 04/28/2024 08:41 AM
Larry Schug:
this poem is like watching a video, not that a video is better than a poem. Making a movie in my head with words. Nice!
Posted 04/28/2024 07:42 AM
Claudia Griffiths:
Thank you for such a clever poem! Its nearly universal theme, tidy construction, economy of words, and zip of an ending caused me to just laugh out loud! Your poem was a gift: laughter at 5 AM to start my day. I will share with my siblings and friends. Thank you again.
Posted 04/28/2024 05:30 AM

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