11. Someone else’s father

Someone else’s father


I took a road trip once, with Death

trying to hitchhike in my sister’s car.

A broke-back Chevy, neon orange

from its former life, highway patrol car.

We should have turned right. Taken

the exit to Annapolis. But the maps

to that life were written somewhere else

and we took the turn for nowhere.


She drove us down a guttered street

no lights, no houses. Boarded windows

like blind eyes watching. Listening.

Stubborn as only two sisters can be

we kept on going. Drove to the end

of the road. And with our backs against

the wall, we spun 180.


Too dumb to be afraid, we did know

to be careful. So we pulled over

stopped at the familiar golden arches.

The tired man my father’s age walked

out to the car, showed us the way home

and warned us: white girls don’t come around here.

Go home. Death, that sly bastard, rolled his eyes.

Found someone else to ride with.

Thank you, someone else’s father. Thanks.


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