Grand Prix

Here, he said,
This is where the Grand Prix will be.
Sandbags squatted along the streets,
half built bleachers climbed
into the domed night sky.
In the headlights
of the big station wagon,
orange cones led the way.

We drove the course,
slowly, like officials,
the tires mushy and dull-witted,
the streetlamps waving us on.
I opened the glove compartment,
coins and maps
and all the accessories of escape
glared at me.

We picked up speed.
With each lap I got younger,
the years backing out, embarrassed,
as if they had walked into the wrong room,
until tiny and tired
I curled up on the seat
while he drove, humming, smiling,
reaching over to lock me in.

Published in California Quarterly, -30-

Photo by Gabe Pierce on Unsplash