We left the grandparents late,
late for a 6-hour drive, anyway.
My dad, stern in his horn-rimmed glasses, driving
through the failing light;
My mom, her foot perpetually pressed
hard on the imaginary brake.
I could only ride in the backseat at night
after the ocean-waves of prairie
could no longer be seen from the car window.
And as we neared the highway turn-off
toward the country roads of our home.
The street lights flashed through my closed eyelids
and half-awake I folded myself smaller
in the backseat,
happy to be near home
sad to leave the speeding capsule
that held us in a separate time and space.