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June 24, 2024

Getting Away

By Tony Gloeggler

Getting Away

The kids bicker in the back seat.
They're sick of each other,
these weekends in the Berkshires.
They want to stay home, play
with their friends. Maybe
next week, I lie. My wife
sits in the death seat, rolls
down her window, smokes
her cigarette and wonders
if I will ever fix the damn
air conditioner. Construction
narrows the highway to two
slow lanes. The radio
spits the six o'clock news
through static. Sweat slides
down my spine. I grip the stick
in a fist, punch the car closer
to the toll booth, drop quarters
in the basket, and the gate
lifts. We hit open road. Wind
whips my hair, the DJ spins
Rosalita. I sing every word:
1979, Erica, her gypsy dresses,
the silver crucifix hanging between
her freckled breasts. The song
ends. I look at my watch, picture
myself unpacking bags, putting
Kate and Jesse to bed. By ten,
I should be sitting on the porch,
my wife's head nesting in my lap,
trying to remember the names of stars.
Later, she'll drape her faded jeans
over Grandma Melton's rocking
chair, lie back in bed and shut
her eyes the first time I enter her.
She'll wrap her legs around my back,
move to meet me, and I'll think
only of her until I fall asleep.

Article © Tony Gloeggler. All rights reserved.
Published on 2017-06-26
Image(s) are public domain.
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