how easily those we love can slip from us
Before seat belts and car seats
Mom drove the old blue Chevy Pickup
to visit grandpa and grandma
with The youngest ones my family perennially called
” The Little Girls”
she drove with heightened instincts
The Chevy was hard enough to drive
With a starter pedal on the floor
A one size fits all bench seat
Where legs could barely reach the pedals
A steering wheel the size of a hula hoop
A stick shift rattling like an old man’s cane
Grinding through the gears
I can see the Little Girls
Their tiny selves peering over the dash.
As mom turned the corner,
The rickety door flew open
and the Little Girls rolled toward
Tumbling toward pavement
Mom, herself a teen, fell from a pickup seat
Through an open door.
And could still feel the scars along her side
Motivation and instinct.
She grabbed them
pulling them close to the giant steering wheel
As if it was an every day occurrence.
But she’s still trembling
40 years later
As she remembers
Seeing their library books
Through the ridiculously small review mirror
Twisting and spinning on the asphalt
like 52 card pickup
not until Old Blue
Grumbled through the drive
To settle by the barn.
Did she find time to cry.