I-80 leads nowhere
she wants to be elsewhere
this warm spring night
she should be sprawled across some flowered sheet,
wafting through windows newly screened.
Instead, pinned behind the wheel
she clutches her last nerve
steers between behemoth trucks and constructions
rebar wrought by satanic one-lane satirists.
Tires slap black
pavement’s white lines
define this second
then the next
beat becomes hypnotic
Shit! She almost falls asleep,
is saved by her daughter’s voice,
“I’ll read to you, if you want me to.”
They’d lost the trucks a few miles back;
the small car glides
with an ease not felt before.
A huge full moon is on the rise
but the girl opens the glove box door
for light, and begins to read in a steady voice
a book she’s surprised she likes,
not being what her mother calls “a reader” —
always followed by the silently implied “like me.”
“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley.
“That’s Al-du-ous” her mother hums.
“Whatever. Chapter One.”
Despite her mother’s claim to know the way
the author says his name,
this is a book she hasn’t read.
“I never liked science fiction,” she says.
Her daughter excels in science and math
a consolation for mother-mapped paths
that will not be tread.
Their exit looms near the end of Chapter Three.
The tedious journeys’ longed for escape
seems less important now
than the fate of fictional eggs.
The daughter puts the book away
and the mother marks the place
where something brave and new has hatched.