Somehow he knew where the turnoff was, where
you could swerve off the main road, find the logging trail gate
and hit the soggy tracks the switchbacks the old pine
woods breathing mist and green and clean spring air
through the rolled-down windows of his old blue
Volkswagen Jetta. “Let’s go,” he’d shout and she’d thrill inside
at the light in his shining blue-green eyes. He’d let go the brake
and stomp on the gas and that old car would slither and jerk,
fishtailing, kicking up waves of red Georgia clay soaked through
with the raw winds, the rains, the patchy, slow-melting snows
of earliest spring. This was the time before the mortgage, before the letter
left on the table and the abandoned key, before mood stabilizers.
Ambien chasers. Custody agreements. Hypertension. Lost causes. Life coaches.
Just two kids in a muddy car skidding, learning the hard way, stirring up the dirt.
Joanna Grant‘s work has appeared in Guernica, The Southern Women’s Review, Verse Monthly, The Southern Humanities Review, and elsewhere. She is a Collegiate Associate Professor/Wandering Scholar with the University of Maryland, currently on assignment in Southwest Asia.