Paula Camacho


We confine ourselves in the car,
take to the road more open than six-feet,
social distancing, the sun almost cheery.
We pass The Cuban, a restaurant where a line of cars
made in the 50’s decorate the street in front of it
in flashy aquamarine, canary yellow, fire engine red,
chrome carefully crafted around their bodies.
I did not know the names of cars back then.
Pontiac, Hudson, Corvette, Studebaker, Rambler
meant nothing to a city girl who rode subways.
I only knew the steering wheel was a thin, large,
round ring of power, the front seat a wide slide
over to your boyfriend’s shoulder.
Elvis sings “…hold me close, hold me tight…”
Back then we naively thought only a bomb
would be able to close down the world
and leave the streets empty.
Now, in rush hour, there is no traffic
on Southern State Parkway.
“When this pandemic is over,” I tell my husband
“Let’s go back and eat at The Cuban.”
Back to where a car holds the past I once lived.


PAULA CAMACHO is the President of the Nassau County Poet Laureate Society and moderates the Farmingdale Poetry Group. Her poems are in many anthologies and have won awards. She has published three books and four chapbooks