Kelly Eastlund, The Poem in the Backseat

Kelly Eastlund

She’s staring out the window.
I keep glancing at the rearview mirror
wondering what she’s thinking
I admire her steady eyes, glossy hair,
wait—now it’s dull and wild,
homeless-person hair.
She grins (at least I think
that was a grin).
I don’t know her, really;
we’ve only just met, or rather,
she just showed up with a suitcase
and an air of expectation.
I suggest a route. She doesn’t stir.
I try another. She nods.
I get excited, then hit a dead end.
She shrugs. We turn,
turn again, double back,
keep rolling,
keep rolling.
We’re out beyond the edge of town now.
She seems uncomfortable.
I pull over. We’ll wait.
I’m at the wheel, but she’s the driver.


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