Drive-In Movie During a Pandemic

Drive-In Movie During a Pandemic

Midweek midsummer night at the drive-in,
only one other car ahead of us in line.
A gowned man in mask and gloves

scans our ticket with his handheld scanner,
directs us to tune our car radio and follow
signs straight ahead to our screen, where

we watch Jurassic Park and Jaws, two
different types of monster movies, which,
once so fearsome, now are almost laughable

with their low-tech recreation of our childhood
nightmares: dinosaur resurrections and shark
attacks. There are ten other cars sprawled out

at our showing, teens packed six to a car, families
crammed in the back of a pick-up truck, strewn
across an old air mattress. We tighten

our masks, roll up the car windows,
cringe as we see packs of stray youths
stroll up to the snack-shack maskless.

Even so, with our pillow and fleece-blanket,
we sit still in our crossover car, settle in
for the feature films, to be transported

to a bygone time when monsters
that went bump in the night

were the only worries we had.

Matthew Hawk is an MFA student at the University of Memphis, specializing in poetry. His work has been published in Paradise in Limbo literary magazine, the University of Chicago’s Migration Stories project, and is forthcoming in Rio Grande Review. His chapbook, Poems from the Heart, was published by Desert Willow Press in 2018, and he was a semifinalist for Iron Horse Literary Review’s 2021 national poetry month contest.

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