Motel, Graduation

We slept poorly the night before
in that no man’s land beside the bridge,
a flag lot of forgotten streets.
Cars pulled in and out at all hours,
engines left idling, people knocking on the next door.
Twice police cars passed in the chilly night,
the wop-wop of sirens, but did not stop.
In the morning, I peeked beneath the barred windows
and watched a family crossing a vacant lot
to a graffitied market. I misplaced the card for him,
Congrats! You deserve the world!
but did not look too hard, did not search beneath the bed.
At the ceremony, he stopped to hug us, once,
his pale wife holding a knotted faced baby.
Leaving, a hub cap rolled off our car
but we just kept driving.

Published in Mal Pais Review

Photo by Matthew Smith on Unsplash