on the drive home
Pop songs with ubiquitous slant rhymes—“time” and “mine, “move” and “love.”
Nathan’s hot dogs and Aunt Ann’s pretzels. An overpass lined with flags.
A compact from Quebec. A semi from Indiana. A horse trailer. An Airstream.
Signs that say “Thanks for visiting.” Signs that say “Welcome.” Signs that say
“Express Lane” and “Exit Left” and “Divided Highway.” Signs like fortune tellers,
like a shake of the cookie jar, like diamonds. A silver water bottle. Cold red grapes.
A bookend of apple trees. The smeared remnants of a squirrel. Deer, unperturbed,
grazing a stone’s throw from the shoulder. The unshakeable metaphors of departure
and arrival. Mileage like a promise. A sky you can almost feel.
The foot, steady on the gas. The hands, tender at the wheel.