I’m tired of keeping my eyes
tethered to the same old roads,
seeing so much of so little of life
through a windshield.
I keep spying on my kids in the rearview.
I sneak peeks like they’re strangers on a bus:
ear buds plugged in, eyes glued to phone screens,
their thumbs poised then furiously tapping.
Yesterday, my oldest — somber, concerned —
asked what I’ll do after they leave
to be on their own. “You’re leaving someday,”
I bluffed. “You promise? No worries.
I’m sure your father and I can come up with a plan.”
Actually, sometimes I’m afraid of what I see —
my bored-stiff self in a spotless house, vigorously
wiping the hall mirror as though trying to erase herself.
She stops and gapes, shocked by how old she looks.
The heirloom clock’s relentless tick-tock
echoes in the empty hallway of her heart.
— Oh, you don’t want to hear this!
Poor me, poor me.
But when you sneak a look at my face
in the car next to yours at a light, don’t judge,
and don’t pretend to feel sorry.
You’ve got enough problems of your own, clearly.