6.26.2008

Poetry Thursday

Crescendo

Driving to my Doctor in July, I sit
With my feet on the dashboard, calves
Glinting in the white heat, a new lexicon crawling
Around the corners of a napkin as I try to write
Against my thighs. Above our red Toyota
The branches and leaves of Ireland have kindled
With the sky, a Monet where there was
once a C├ęzanne. My mother seeks out
The straightest routes, allows the car
To ebb the smooth middle of the road as
The wind laps the rim on the window, like
a staccato to the music of Cat Stevens.
I think she loves the passion of over-taking,
The thunder of engines flirting on opposite sides
of the road. The corners of her eyes
will sharpen. Her stomach will tense and flatten.
Lips taut, she takes the reigns of our
Lives with both hands, and as I
Close my eyes she delivers me
to the darkness just before birth, the pulse
of gears aroused, swelling, like the hum
induced by speed. We slide along
the vein of mom's road, our bodies moving
through the air like seeds through a pistil,
and when I can feel my hair whipping my jaw again
I open my eyes and glance at my mother.
Strands of her hair tucking in the salty tattoo of the wind,
her elbow angling over the lip of the door.
We descend, sending loose chips
flying like progress. She drives faster and faster
As if she is driving to save my life.
We are falling through the green of Ireland
And mom has the gear-stick in her fist
As if it is the strong branch of a tree to cling to.
I change stations on the radio,
Touching her fingers.

-Leanne O'Sullivan

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