Every mile or so,
I glance to the clock.
Hoping time will stop.
Or that it’s not really five o’clock.
The final mile along the road,
I roll down the windows to air out the smell.
The woodland creatures are beginning to shift,
so once in the driveway, I turn the lights off
and roll slowly along, with the engine hushed.
Safe inside, it’s straight to the fridge.
Grabbing cold pasta, I start up to bed.
But a light from the den stops me instead.
And before I can step a tip to a toe,
Dad rumbles from the den,
strong and low.
And I have nowhere else to go.
Perched on his favorite, swivel chair,
he’s flanked by portraits of ungrateful heirs.
Grumbling at the empty driveway
and disappearing night,
he’s been swiveling there for hours
without a child in sight.
Staring at my bloodshot eyes,
he asks if I know the hour,
and things aren’t looking good
for this early morning flower.
“What could you be doing
until five in the morning?”
All at once, the truth pours forth
without a single warning.
I tell Dad how the day was spent
cooking with some friends,
then going to a drive-in
for a zombie marathon;
about the beautiful night
and the shoreline fire,
and the remarkable moonlight
as we waded in the water.
Baffled by my sudden truths,
Dad takes a moment to recompute.
“I’m just waiting for your sister.”
(as the final plot twister)
were the next
words from his mouth.
I leave the scene ungrounded.
Looking from an upstairs window,
just above where Dad keeps vigil,
I see the dawn beginning to dance,
and know, poor Mia,