Sunday, September 15, 2013

A drive to the lake



Some days just come out as poems.  It takes a lot of concentration to drive a full fifteen passenger van with a screaming child that is your own.  I know this one is kind of long, but I would love to hear comments.  


White car on black road
A butterfly in the sun
Swept up in car wind

I must drive carefully
My daughter screams
TURN UP THE MUSIC
I CAN’T UNDERSTAND
THE WORDS!
I turn it up
So I do not
 have to
find the words
to speak to the man beside me
who thinks in Kaba, Songo and French

I wonder what he
and the other seven people
think
his wife and brother and three children
and the single mother and her toddler
refugees from wars
I can’t understand

I wonder what they think
Of my daughter
Who screams from the
Way back seat
TURN IT UP!
WHAT IS THE SONG SAYING?

And I wonder how
War or parenting can make
Children who are so quiet
And how
I and parenting can make
Children who scream so loud

I turn off the music
And tell her
I can’t tell her
What it all means
If it is so loud.

So we drive in
A kind of
 silence
Eight quiet passengers
and my four fussing children
my precious cargo

I remind myself
That this is fun
That this too shall
Pass

I notice the butterflies on the road
and pray each time
that the big white van
won’t crush their
long awaited wings
with 60mph winds

Stupid Butterflies
I want to scream
Don’t you know this road is not safe
Don’t look for life and comfort here!

The sign says:
Low or Soft Shoulder

I remember Yoga class
And let my shoulders drop
And breathe
And listen
To my daughter say
Mama I have to
Pee

So we stop
Fifteen minutes away
At the gas station
And interrupt the
Indian man on his cell phone
To ask where to find and use
The Rest Room
And he points us
Outside
To the room
With scum gray walls
And she sighs with relief
As she sits on that dirty seat

We return to
Thirteen patient passengers
And the van that smells like
Bodies
Like the smell of the airport
In Dar Es Salaam
The smell of people
I love

I breathe
and smile
We are almost there.

The sign says:
This road ends in the water

We tumble out and
 step off jagged rocks into
 the welcoming waves

and the air is sweet for the drive home