Katie wakes from her nap and asks, “Where are we?”
“Near Burlington,” I tell her, and she
nods her head and nods off once more.
Our car like a grain of sand in a desert,
we are small and irrelevant, waiting
in dead heat for the push of wind
that has forsaken us.
Andrew grows cramped and cross
in our steel box, and I am reminded
that humans are not so unlike wild things;
like horses, we crave movement
and long stretches of forced stillness
take talons to our calm.
An hour later, Katie wakes again, questioning.
“Near Burlington,” I tell her.
Tiny fists of rain strike our windshield, blurring
the world like ripples on the skin of a pond.
We strain our eyes for the pale-faced markers
warning of the seam between road and cliff.
Ahead, a truck lit up bright like a carnival;
We claim it for our beacon and follow it
along the turns, thread behind needle.
Only when lightning flashes like the shining scales
of a fish can we see the mountains, looming
huge and black as the belly of storm clouds.