My Mother Jerks the Wheel Left Then Right

by Esther Sadoff

stops in the middle of the roundabout
under the pretense she wants to make
sure oncoming traffic has stopped
and I’m not sure anymore whether she understands
the purpose of the roundabout
or whether she’s stopping for spite,
to prove to us she really is the queen of the road.

When she takes a turn, she yanks the wheel
one-handed and it takes everything
I have to hold onto my seat.
Down the road we sputter, drag, accelerate,
the car full of rattling cups, nectarine pits,
an apple that has been rolling in the trunk for days.
She lauds the car’s safety features,
tells my father it’s the only car she can drive.
My father tells my sister to find a man
with his own safety features.
Bells and whistles to beep and light up
if he starts to drift out of his lane.
We keep our eyes on the road when my mother drives
though she’s never had an accident in her life
and no one else in the car can say the same.

 

Esther Sadoff is a teacher and writer from Columbus, Ohio. Her poems have been featured or are forthcoming in Little Patuxent Review, Jet Fuel Review, Cathexis Poetry Northwest, Pidgeonholes, Red Ogre Review, Santa Clara Review, Wild Roof Journal, Drunk Monkeys, Roanoke Review, South Florida Poetry Journal, among others. She is also a poetry reader for Passengers Journal.

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