Tenthyear Elegy

Careless man, my father, always leaving me at rest-stops, coffee shops, some wide spot in the road.

I come out, rubbing my hands on my pants or levitating two foam cups of coffee, and can't find him anywhere, those banged-up fenders gone.

It's the trip itself that blinds him, black highway like a chute leading to the mesmerizing end, his hands locked dead on the wheel and following, until he misses me, steers wide on the graveled shoulders, turns around.

This time he's been gone so long

I've settled in here — married, built a house, planted trees for shade, stopped waiting to see him pull into the drive —

though the wind sometimes makes a highway roar high up in the branches, and I stop whatever I am doing and look up.

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