School ends, the car is packed, we’re always ready
for summer and never worried about falling asleep
at the wheel, breaking down, big rigs, or weather.
But tonight there’s a big storm, making it hard to
gain the miles, to make good time, to travel safely.
I feel better after making it down the NJ Turnpike.
Across the PA Turnpike, just south of Harrisburg
we find the Pike, stop at the Flying J Travel Plaza
for Tastycakes, a Diet Mountain Dew, Starbursts.
Sand stings our ankles as it blows across the lot.
Back out on 81, wind whips us back and forth.
In my rearview mirror there’s a truck towing
a muscle car, a Chevelle or GTO, not sure which.
When I look ahead, I notice a mini van parked on
the interstate, I’m lucky to have my wits about me.
I cut to the right, ride the shoulder- knowing cars
going this fast can’t stop on wet pavement. I see
their dopey faces staring at a truck tire in the road.
In my mirror the trailer jackknifes, the antique car
flips into a ditch, trucks and cars roll, I step on the gas.
My hands grip the wheel, the rain keeps falling,
and when I twist my mirror I see how lucky we are.
I notice my son working his thumbs on his Gameboy.
I hear cars racing around the track, tires squealing,
and in the background a strange circus music plays on.