Driving to deepen your sleep, as my step-father
does to feel awake against Coquihalla winds. Driving
whatever direction, each stop a meeting place
of four empty fields huddled against the evening.
This morning, your mother holding you at the front door,
you waved goodbye to me—stretched and folded
four fingers to your palm. It was your first word,
that opening and closing. I responded in kind
and the three of us stayed there, amazed, passing goodbyes
back and forth, until you looked away. Later,
we watched a flock of terns circle a flooded field, a storm’s
gray gauze only one hill over and whipping its way.
Tucked against my chest, your eyes followed
the reeling white birds. Now I take another corner,
rattle through an ambush of potholes. You don’t stir.
It’s the motion, I know. The speed and turns and vibrations.
And also, I tell myself, your being just the right distance
from me. Facing the rear windshield, the night curling past,
curving backward, rewinding almost, and me
always a foot behind you, a foot ahead of you,
unzipping and zipping the darkness around us, the road
endless, your dreams buzzing like morning glories, turning,
stretching, folding, opening, closing, driving, driving.