Monday, November 19, 2012


My Parents, Who Are Crying

They drive across a vast, empty plane
that tilts back and forth
like a carnival ride.
They are driving while
all around them
shrieks and reels
the wide open universe,
the horrible, unending universe,
screaming, roaring,
so much empty space,
They are small and
vulnerable like china dolls
as the maroon car
speeds on, buffeted by
wind and the terrain,
stalked by danger,
easy victims.
I only see them from the back.
Their bodies rock,
knocked about inside the cab,
their heads loll left to right,
right to left.
My father’s hands
frozen to the wheel,
mistrusting, hating no one
more than himself,
pretending not to
regret all the things
he never did;
my mother, immobile, resolute,
so full of bitterness and
rage that, if she could
pull herself apart, if she could
slice herself open with her
own fingernails, if she could
reach in and wrench her
heart out, beating, dripping,
she would:
they are crying about it all.
Where is the end?
Ssssshh. Keep driving.
Just look ahead.
Everything is going to be all right.

JEF 1993

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