Title: The Sacred

Disclaimer: I don't own Dean or Jensen or the poem. None of them are mine, it's a sad truth that I've learned to live with.

Summary: Dean talks about his car during English class.

Dean slouched in his chair, not really listening to his English teacher. Mr. Persing noticed that none of his students were listening to his speech about the symbolism in To Kill A Mockingbird and decided to try a different tactic.

"Does anyone have a sacred place?" The students looked to their teacher, confused by the sudden change of topic. No one answered.

"Come, on. I'm sure one of you has a special place you go to when you want to be alone." A few students shifted in their seats, but no one said anything.

"Alex, where do you go when your parents make you mad?" The brown haired boy in question shrugged. Mr. Persing sighed and called on the blond who raised his hand in the back.

"Yes, Dean?"

"My car."

"Would you care to elaborate?"

"When school gets me down, or my dad gets on my case, or when my kid brother gets on my nerves, I get in my car and drive around."

"Your car? That's your sacred place? Can you explain to me why your car is special to you?" Mr. Persing beamed at his student, happy that someone had at least attempted to answer.

"My car is my baby. She just calms me down. When I get in my car, I blast Black Sabbath from the tape player and revel in the fact that, if I feel like it, I can just drive away from here, from everything, and go wherever I want. It's the fact that I can be alone with my thoughts and be in control. I don't have to answer to anyone or anything. It's just me and my car, me and my baby." Some students laughed at the Dean's last statement, but all of them thought about what he said, the truth that he had just spoken.

"My old tree house." Alex spoke up.

"My room." A red headed girl called out. All the students revealed their hiding places, their homes away from home, their sacred places. Mr. Persing grinned, proud of his students, and motioned for the class to be silent.

"What your sacred places, your rooms, your tree houses, your clearing in the woods or your cars do is symbolize. The represent your thoughts and feelings. Dean's car, his baby," Mr. Persing smiled, "symbolizes tranquility and freedom. He feels calm and collected in his car. He feels like he's free from all the pressures of life, or so I assume." Dean looked to his teacher and nodded in agreement.

"Now, can anyone tell me what the title To Kill A Mockingbird symbolizes" Several hands went up and Mr. Persing called on some students. Dean slouched back in his chair and thought about his baby. What Mr. Persing had said made sense. His car was his freedom.

The Sacred

By Stephen Dunn

After the teacher asked if anyone had

a sacred place

and the students fidgeted and shrank

in their chairs, the most serious of them all

said it was his car,

being in it alone, his tape deck playing

things he'd chosen, and others knew the truth

had been spoken

and began speaking about their rooms,

their hiding places, but the car kept coming up,

the car in motion,

music filling it and sometimes one other person

who understood the bright altar of the dashboard

and how far away

a car could take him from the need

to speak, or to answer, the key

in having a key

and putting it in and going

So what do you think? The whole story was inspired by this poem that I found while leafing through my Literature book during a really boring English class. Oh, and Mr. Persing is the name of my favorite teacher. He doesn't really teach English though. And To Kill A Mockingbird is a story we just finished in English so I had to learn all about the symbolism and stuff. Anyway, please read and review.