Your dad steers with his left hand—right arm
draped across the back of the seat—thumb and index finger
pressed into your mom’s shoulder. He maps his territory
as he cruises out of the Ozarks on Route 63—
past the confluence of the two big rivers—and eventually
hitting 71 for that long haul to the place where flames
surge from the stacks in Cleveland’s Steelyard.
That’s where men crank out three shifts a day—
where your father’s life grinds forward
like a slow peeling away of the sky.
From here, it’s just a stone’s throw
to the old pavilion at Nautica.
You remember the Allman Brothers wailing
their southern rock—small boats drifting
along the Cuyahoga and music filling you up
like a bottle of cold beer on a burning summer day.
Sometimes, coming home
is the only thing that matters.
Pamela Anderson’s poetry has appeared in a number of online and in-print journals (Jenny, Whurk, Atticus Review, and others). Her new poetry chapbook—Just the Girls: A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies; A Drift of Honeybees—was released in August 2020 by The Poetry Box Press.
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