Road TripWe started out at midnight
In a metallic-brown Chevy Nova
Whose vinyl seats left diamonds on the backs of our legs.
Curled up in a sleeping bag,
I kept one eye open
While my chain-smoking Dad sped across the state line
And Mom tried to sleep in the passenger seat.
If I raised my head to look
At the tall conifers in silhouette against the midnight blue
At the profiles of mountains
And tried to see what was behind the blackness,
Mom or Dad would tell me to go back to sleep.
I start out every morning
On foot, now, to the bus stop
Leaving diamonds, stripes or wavy lines upon the sidewalk.
In my seat, I read
And try to see what is behind the blackness of the ink.
I think of all the so-called leaders, religious and political,
Who have told me to keep my eyes and my mouth shut
Who have told me to go back to sleep.
I'm not a child anymore.
I have both eyes open.
I will see what I can see along the way
And I won't go back to sleep.