Detour

You can go your own way,

but when I go absent-mindedly

against that pesky one-way

at the end of N. State Street,

coffee cravings fall to the wayside

and I’m orb-eyed and snorting,

an insubordinate, spirited filly.

 

I should’ve seen the signs,

or had a second thought at the lack

of forward-facing stoplights,

but instead I sang distractedly

to Joni’s Mitchell’s Amelia,

(“Until you get there yourself,

You never really know,”)

and challenged the yellow lines,

ripping their reins away.

 

As if some gate were lifted,

I  sprint beyond the eddies of oxytocin,

the vales of mom jeans and Aerostar minivans.

Yet nurture strong-arms my nature,

And like whip to flesh,

I conform.

 

Beside an SUV I lock eyes

With a pig-tailed girl writing poems

in window condensation,

her finger scribbling like a compass needle.

I fear the pull of this arterial is stronger than

she knows, that her poems will be lost to

doodled dream houses and baby names,

the longer she follows this supposed one-way.

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