Above me, the clouds whirled and blew.
Around me, the rain pelted and washed beneath the Vibe.
I looked out of the windows to get bearings,
out the sunroof to spot any twisty clouds,
Winds rocked my little car so completely that I felt I was in a rowboat on an angry sea and not in the middle of fields and fields and fields of green spring growth.
Calm and wondering descended.
All I could think of was
Do Madi and Kenan know how much I love them?
How “being proud” was not exclusive to those rare times when all the balls are in the air
the dog is walked
and the world applauds.
Do they know how much I admire them?
Did Madi shift the laundry?
My sister, Katie and Dave, people I see in the everyday and ordinary came to my thoughts.
Zach, Madi’s fella.
in the blowing
Leaving that stopping place…
where I could see a home in the distance
a stranger’s home
I could make it to the barn if I needed to
I could stay here…
Leaving that bump along the road was more frightening than staying put
Even with the rare car or 18-wheeler that passed me in the tumult.
Rain and wind had not fully passed, but I knew it was time to press on.
I drove below the speed limit.
What pushed me on was that I was sick with something and needed sleep.
And miles to go.
was the loneliness of leaving the kids
and missing them
and the pup
with a quiet cold apartment ahead.
The reality that a friend was saying the last goodbyes to her dad.
And though my life is too blank of a canvas
and my tools seem totally unsuited for this next unwinding chapter
I could not stay put.
The peanut butter and chocolate would run out.
And I was so tired.
So I crept out onto Highway 99
somewhere between Oklahoma and
desolate Howard, Kansas (the irony of getting derailed there)
and made my new beginning back towards Manhattan.
Home for now.
and exhausted as I was along that unknown road
I could not stay there.
This is not the way it ends.