Down the Road
Pia Taavila-Borsheim

Down the Road

So here I am again, driving the long back roads,
my childhood in Michigan remembered anew.

First swim, first sail, first bluegill and bass,
first kiss, first of several heartaches.

Yet the lakes, their deep blues, swing me full circle
now that the moons have pulled so many tides.

While I wade, minnows peck at my feet and ankles.
They dart like memories, dappled like Petoskey stones.

Tonight, I will sleep on the ground beneath pine trees,
my two-man tent pitched on yellow beach sand.

I will dream my Michigan dream: that I am flying,
my legs long stilts stretched to the ground below,

where my mother waters her geraniums and my father
guns the Evinrude, a beer in his bear-like paw. He opens

the throttle’s throat as he takes off, out into the inlet,
his red cap fading from view. My siblings play in the next

lot, tossing the ball back and forth. They’re dead now,
but in my dream they are tow-headed and kind,

tossing bobbers into my bicycle basket, rolling
cheese and bread balls, handing me hooks to bait.

They let me watch as they gut the catch, wiggling
the entrails to frighten me. When I wake, I swear,

there is no blood on my hands. Only the moon stares
down, the lapping waves crowding one upon the other.

Pia Taavila-Borsheim

lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and teaches literature and creative writing at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. She is author of Moon on the Meadow: Collected Poems 1977-2007 (Gallaudet University Press), Two Winters (Finishing Line Press), and the forthcoming Mother Mail (Hermeneutic Chaos Press).