Wendy Taylor Carlisle

For My Son by Way of Explanation

In the inner weather of the Impala, the voices instructed us:
Go ahead. The small kindness
costs nothing
requires only bravery.  The car had a big engine, 

I put my foot in it, sweating.  Just over the Georgia line,
a small town JP married us.  We were underdone
and on the lam,
carrying cardboard suitcases and fungible wounds.   

I hadnít yet heard a clenched hand is as bad as any fist,
your father didnít know he was lonely. 
You were the tiny star
in my bellyís firmament. That week,  

every breakfast was cheese grits, bacon and sausageó
No corn flakes.  The Playboy Advisor to answer our questions. 
The story of Job was superfluous to
the engine that drove us.  In retreat from the broken  

edge of a parlor circle, we didnít go all the way
far enough. Driving after dark, reckoning by the stars, threatening to leave
again and after all,
what did we leave you?  A trip diary.  A slow dissolving scar. 



(photo by Ashley Harris)