Driving Back We Pass My Parents’ Home
This never means the same thing twice.
Tonight our children sleep in the backseat.
Their heads yield left and right through the country,
the moon a cantaloupe slice crowding
Cygnus from the sky. Under that pinoak I crept,
kissed a boy in porchlight pallor,
picked grass from between my toes.
By the juniper I snuck my first cigarette
lit from a burner on the stove. The day has been
put away, a groundhog tamps the mud
walls of his burrow, rabbits tucked safely in warrens –
it is too late, too late for a visit, for the slow
driveway sound, the pop of rocks under the tires.
I scan the drawn curtains for whatever it is
I am missing or might have missed. I imagine my mother
beyond the grey brick, busy with her worry.
My father asleep in the cold bedroom, the raspy hook
and pull of his snore. An empty dog dish in the garage.
My hand reaches across the front seat for my husband’s.
Fingers memorize knuckles as wind drawls
lonesome through the cracked window. I focus on the familiar
darkness ahead. I give a name to the newest ache.