22 March 2009

Sunday Poem

Learner’s Permit

by Constance Brewer

Riding on the passenger side,

everything look/feels wrong.

My mature eyes can't read

the speedometer, note the status

of the gas gauge, scan the rear

and side views for trouble.

We move fast—much too fast,

turn too sharp, drive too close

to other animate objects.

My foot stomps the non-existent

brake pedal, right hand clutches

the overhead door grip. I flinch

in anticipation of my teenager's

frustrated sigh. I restrain

myself from commenting

on technique, anticipation,

turning radius and anything

parentally instructional.

He already knows it all.

He's good, a better driver

than I'll ever be. Fearless,

not reckless, proactive,

not reactive. I forgive the out-

burst of exasperation, the eye-

rolling, the heartfelt expulsions

of breath, and instead, study his methods.

I've given up my attempts to explain—

it's not about him, but my mistrust

of the intentions of the rest of the world.

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