I am in a parking lot & Dad appears. I gather quickly this is a dream because I don’t own an Odyssey anymore & Dad passed nine years ago. I ask him if he is driving and he tells me to take the wheel. Question this more than his not having gray hair, or a wheelchair, or breath. Before we leave, he tries to find his wood rosary beads I haven’t seen since Mom died. Wants to hang them from the rear-view mirror. Rummages through the backseat clutter of jackets & masks & Dunkin’ cups & junk mail. & I am the only one judging the mess. He produces a map & declares this is good enough as he adjusts his Air Force sunglasses, & pops a peppermint Lifesaver. Tells me to get a move on. But all of the doors are still open— & I am sitting criss-cross on cracked asphalt. & I don’t want to start because I am already lost, because this is fixing to be a long ride— & Dad disappears again before he can offer me direction, before I can say goodbye.
Victoria Nordlund’s poetry collection Wine-Dark Sea was published by Main Street Rag in 2020. She is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize Nominee, whose work has appeared in PANK Magazine, Rust+Moth, Chestnut Review, Pidgeonholes, Maudlin House, and elsewhere. Visit her at VictoriaNordlund.com