Various and Sundry Poetry

off the A10

It's not what you think - I'm still the same
old person who wants to take the wheel most times.
But now, with the two of us, there is a road
and there is the map, and one person for each.

And so, to the right of you, as you drive,
I sit with each quatrain, figuring the math,
folding our route into bite-sized portions,
sounding out funny-sounding town names
into the air-conditioning, convincing
gas stations from the page, supermarkets, old ladies swinging
laundry bags, children with their dogs, pear trees,
fastitidious rows of artichokes and cabbage,
church cloisters, kneeling cows, ice cream parlors,
junkyard cars, antiques, and rolling vineyards,
not realizing I've taken us far so off the A10,
or how, with such careful hands on the wheel,
you're delivering the map to me.