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Way Back

ISSUE:  Spring 2006

Episodic family vacations … only one
still went along, “the baby,” whose own caprice—
expansive, interior—their outdated wagon
became the seat of—a stationary agon;
express, per-minute revolutions, vis-
a-vis (that plotted Trip-Tik): Dad, Mom, Son.

Whoa. Slow down. The vehicle’s auto-emotive
design—that pulled-up way-back—made him turn
his back on where he came from—which was where
he headed also, as the impassive stare
that met his (had time permitted him to learn)
might well have shown. But—“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph … ”

“Damn Sunday drivers,” stalling. The old man—
ingenuous, explosive—pulled away
at last, outdistancing that always-close-
behind but farther, farther figure (Adios,
El Camino, the minivanish age, one day,
will leave us in the dust
). Headlights began,

in grave procession, ticking on. (Recline
from dim reflection, child, that long-rehearsed,
spectacular total reckoning, hard and fast
asleep, who saw it coming, going past,
past all recognition
.) Dad braked, cursed,
and bore toward the exit, hugging the broken line.


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