Love Poems for Alice with Old Cars

Robert Crawford

In the new dream I give you a big-radiatored
100-miles-on-a-gallon-of-water steamcar
Exported by the White Sewing Machine Co,
Cleveland, Ohio. You scoot with aplomb

Through Alexandria to Loch Lomond past the indigenous
Argyll Motors Factory with its built-to-last
Stone car over the door. People call you odd,
Determined, unchaperoned, ‘fast’. Your wheels cover

Scotland, familiar and intimate, Tin-Lizzying
Right up Ben Nevis, mass-produced,
Laughing with the dash of the woman driver’s
TS1, first car in Dundee. Your fingers

Run through my hair in the rain with the uniqueness
Of Tullock’s 1910 St Magnus
Handmade on mainland Orkney. A crowd of boys in caps
Skips beside us, mouthing

Names of shared loves: Arrol Johnston,
Delaunay-Belleville, Renault. A twine of exhaust
Ties up the Pass of Brander. Can the greenhouse effect
Scrub out this joyful woman driver

Insouciant at the wheel of a Detroit-built Hudson, her glance
Thrown devil-may-caringly through its rear window,
Male passenger watching her high heel pushing eagerly
Up away into the hills?