The Great Escape – John Grey

All the way across Arizona, New Mexico,
and now into Texas,
the sun beat down
on mother and babies,
as the air conditioning
failed to live up to its name
and rolling down windows
just invited the devil in.

Flat land,
and scenery crudely plain,
nothing to hold a child’s attention,
made for grown-up thoughts,
the kind you wished
would leave your mind alone.

You feared to drive at night.
In the dark,
even if you knew exactly
where you were,
it would still feel like
you were lost.
A bland road,
two indifferent head-lights
would see to that.

So you stayed in cheap motels
with lanky drawling unshaven guys
begrudgingly handing you your keys
and barely slept on lumpy mattresses
while clutching your family to your chest.
When someone asked, “Where’s Daddy?”
“California” was answer enough.

 

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Hawaii Pacific Review, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in Blueline, Willard and Maple and Clade Song.

The Cabinet Of Heed Issue 35 Contents Link

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