It’s summer — mid-July
and we drive along twisting roads
in her Father’s old Ford Bronco.
It’s a horrible brown colour,
the colour of antique shops and my Grandmother’s
The sun is sinking slowly —
as it always does this time of year.
It’s golden and blinding.
We haven’t spoken in a while,
I turn to look at her,
her bronze hair shines brilliantly in the light.
She concentrates hard on the road —
or at least she seems to
her heavy brows are knitted together
making small wrinkles appear on her forehead.
I get the urge to reach out and rub them away
but I do not.
Her bony hands grip the steering wheel
as though we are driving on ice
the only difference is she has one delicate foot
planted firmly on the accelerator.
You okay? I ask, my voice sounds small
she runs a sweaty hand through her hair
yeah, she says
I always told her she was a terrible liar,
the pain is tattooed on her face.
The silence wasn’t so empty before
but it is now.
I go to cross my legs
& the warm, beige leather sticks to my skin.
It makes a sound like a band-aid being torn off.
I think about our conversation
earlier on the beach, our toes
painted the same deep blue,
buried beneath the hot sand.
The tiny hairs standing up on our arms
as the cool sea breeze hit our skin.
She cried and asked me whether
the world would always feel like a
I told her it probably would.
How arrogant it would be to
assume that you could know
all there is to know.
We looked out to sea
watched the foamy waves engulf
You’ve just got to feel as
much as you can, I say.
I turn to her now
& feel it all with her as she squints
into the orange glow of the sunset
on the horizon.