I don’t like driving long distances. It’s not the trip; I like being carried over that ground, watching the land pass by. I don’t like being the one to drive it. It’s because I’m pinned in place. The terrible thing about driving those miles is that you can’t reach for your notebook when the storm hits. The ideas are enough like a storm, yes? The okra open-mouthed, empty-handed, cupping the sky. I am like those squash vines. I am like those blackberry brambles. Thirsty, thirsty, but planted in ground so hard that I cannot drink the rain.
The seat does get hard after a while. There is no support for the back. I am an untrellised tomato, slumping in my bucket seat, my lower back screaming while my spouse creature reclines passenger side, all sleepy-eyed. I had wanted to read. I had wanted to scribble. And then this storm rolls up, filled with ideas like lightning flashes, words like rain, like hail stones, and I can’t catch any of it, hands glued instead to the wheel.
I ask him to take dictation, but he smiles sleepy-eyed, “sure,” and rolls over. I will never know what that poem was to be. Rolled through me while I was helpless to catch it and keep it. I will never get to taste its words. It’s gone, the rain receding.