Top-Down Day

Yesterday in Austin, Texas, was what my daughters and I call a “Top-Down Day.”

Several years ago, when their dad used to drive a fire-engine red 1965 Thunderbird convertible, a gorgeous spring day would have all four of us out and about, tooling around in the T-bird with nothing but blue sky above us. Whether we rode to our tiny neighborhood sandwich shop or took a longer tour through the Texas Hill Country, riding with the wind in our hair and sun on our cheeks never failed to delight.

Those sunny-day convertible rides inspired this poem, told from the point of view of a little girl. Here’s wishing you a season filled with Top-Down Days!


Top-Down Day

All winter long,
I’ve been waiting for this day
When the cold’s been chased away
And the sun’s come out to play
And the sky’s no longer gray
And I hear my Daddy say,
“Looks like we’re in for a top-down day.”

When he pulls the car around,
I watch the roof come folding down
With a whirring, purring sound,
And our convertible is bound
For an adventure out of town
On this tip-top, top-notch, top-down day.

All the neighbors that I see
Smile and wave and call to me,
Riding by so fancy-free,
Gliding by so full of glee,
(There’s no other way to be!)
On a breezing, pleasing, top-down day.

With no roof to block my view,
All I see is brilliant blue
And a cotton cloud or two
That has sunbeams streaming through,
And the world looks bright and new
On this glorious, outdoorious, top-down day.

I fling my hands up in the air
Like on a rollercoaster dare,
While the fresh and fragrant air
Fluffs and ruffles up my hair
And Daddy laughs to see me there
On our free-wheeling, no-ceiling, top-down day.

We pass fields freshly mowed,
And stop for turtles in the road —
From beneath their boxy load,
They both seem to nod “Hello”
To this traffic that they’ve slowed
On an unhurried, no-worries, top-down day.

Spotting windmills by the score,
Counting cows and goats galore,
We see a tiny country store
That sells “Milk & Bait & More,”
So we hop out to explore
On this high-flying, I-Spying, top-down day.

I find a treasure chest of cold:
Icy treats a hundredfold,
(Two of which are promptly sold!)
Plus a pinwheel that I hold
As along again we roll
On our nice, dreamy, ice-creamy, top-down day.

While my pinwheel spins on high
And the miles go twirling by,
Sunset colors paint the sky
And the stars I start to spy
Mean that soon we’ll bid good-bye
To our fair-weather, wherever, top-down day.

In the growing chill of night,
Daddy bundles me up tight
With a quilt stitched blue on white
And we make our homeward flight
Beneath a million sparks of light
On this big-skied, starry-eyed, top-down day.

Under moonlight’s milky stream,
Headlights twinkle, blink and beam
And now our home’s a welcome scene —
But as I’m drifting off to dream,
In Daddy’s eye, I see the gleam
Of a soon-to-be, you-and-me, top-down day.

©2011 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz


3 thoughts on “Top-Down Day

  1. I pop in once and a while – I’m friends with your sister, Katrina. This poem is my favorite so far. It brought a little tear to my eye, it is so sweet! I agree, send it to the publisher!

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