nice poem here, wonderfully evocative of a winter afternoon, and a journey home. i've read the piece a few times now (long story, but i have sort of a soft spot for cincinnatti, lol), and here's a few thoughts i had:
initially didn't like the tin man, but it's growing on me, lol.
not sure what you mean by "synthetic water"...? the next two lines following that phrase seem a little awkward.
not sure about clumps of trucks... and weaving through clumps of trees sounds like you've gone off the road, driving across grass now or something.
loved the blinding reflections of icy starbursts on the windshield.
"sans bumper car reenactments"... came across a little forced and awkward to me.
liked the tin man of the first stanza oiling his voice at the end; nice touch.
i was a little confused by the ending. the speaker sees snow and ice on a steep bank along the river, kind of orangish-red in the sunset light? ok... but why is the bank melting when "it's 24 degrees outside and dropping fast"? except for the melting, i loved that final image, it's so simple and beautiful, and it makes a nice end-point for the journey. i also liked the route 50 detail, although i'd move it up with the rest of that stanza to strengthen the ending, instead of having it set apart on its own line.
nice job on this, ellen...thanks for sharing it with us.