Back Seat, 1965    Forward, Back

She looks through the top edge,
the new Ford Galaxy’s back window     fixates
on moving light     white balls,
giant pearl onions stuck to wooden posts.
She thinks on the moon’s placement
in the black sky, always where her eyes can see,
moon moves with the speed of car,
parallels controlled by destination. When she’s older
she’ll meet “prince charming.”

Speeding world outside, she’s on
back seat counting. It’s safe to count, 1-2-3,
father, son, holy spirit, 1-2-3, father,
son, holy ghost, amen. She makes a tiny
sign of the cross in the air with her six-year-old
right index finger. She’ll walk with
a limp in nine years.

Always makes a swooping motion, outlining
movements needed to bless the air
inside the car.    Bless the air inside the car
inside the car.  Bless
the air
the air    inside the car.     She
reads books    likes to hear words in air. She
blesses the words, counting 1-2-3-
4, needs to even the odds    she counts
to even the odds.     Safe to count an
even number of words that dissipate into
back seat of car, Ford Galaxy,
moon from car moves faster than galaxies,
but she learns the moon is slow    illusion
from back seat. She’ll be a single mother for five years.
Eat only what her son can’t finish:
fries, burgers, the American way—
way too much work for little money in
her bank account.
The American
way in a Ford Galaxy
she’ll hydroplane at 17.

Theresa Edwards is an adjunct instructor and tutor at Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York. Her poetry has appeared in Clean Sheets Magazine, Flutter Poetry Journal, SOFTBLOW, SNReview, Pitkin Review, Chronogram, and is forthcoming in Autumn Sky Poetry, Blackmail Press, and Pitkin Review’s spring 2007 issue. She has written musical compositions, including work for mixed media; a novella, The Ride; and a poetry manuscript entitled Voices Through Skin. Theresa has an M.A. in English; and will soon complete an M.F.A. in Creative Writing (poetry), Goddard College. She is the recipient of a fall 2006 Research Faculty Development Grant for Part-Time Faculty from Marist College, and is poetry editor for Quay, www.quayjournal.org

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761