Took the red-eye down to Grandma
she got me full of that Cuban espresso
Dad’s going 90 all the way back north.
I sleep in fits in the front, she keeps that
conehead dog in the back, he bites most people
but I know that dog likes me. All of my
childhood pets are dead, they buried Jack
in the yard after he got sick and Penny ran
into that wild coyote. Mom got some new cat,
she gave it a name I can’t pronounce, and he’s
no Percy but I guess he’ll have to do. My brothers
speak in different tones than I remember, they
followed suit and went to college after I left—
think I was onto something early and it stuck.
They’re talking Christmas lights tomorrow at
the Roost, my teenage thinking lake, I wonder
how anywhere could hold so much water.
They don’t ask me hard questions, they’re just
happy that I’m here, remodeled the bathroom,
bought new cars, got put on meds, and lost a tooth.
I sip it slowly, the ways we all have changed, the
ways I thought I did, I ran for years, gave up
the thought of having home— but it’s still here.
You can’t lose home— we’ll still play chess
and my Dad will always win and for once I
won’t mind to lose.