Passing through Galveston

Memories of highways,
truckstops and trailer parks,  
when I kept you moving, moving,  
in those wide-eyed delicate years,  
with your trusting blond head,  
your bag of dolls, fatherless.  
What chance did you ever have?  
Misfortune of a teenage mother, me  
full of juvenile incompetence,  
one shitty boyfriend after another,  
food stamps, social workers.  I tried,  
kid, I tried, while you deserved  
swingsets, playdates, dance classes;  
you know, decent foundations.  
What have I ever given you, except  
the skill of packing a bag, the art  
of running?  Economy of subsisting  
on a pack of fettucine noodles for a week?  
I keep going back to that Texan café,  
during our last cross-country escape,  
us two in a cracked vinyl booth,  
surrounded by truckers in worn jeans,  
as I taught you how to blow bubbles  
in your milk glass—the happy puff  
of your face over the straw, how the sun  
lit up your hair.  If only I could pass back  
through Galveston, beyond that day,  
to rewire your youth, to fix California,  
Colorado, our days on the road:  no excuse,  
that I was just a kid myself.  Now I watch you  
with your daughters, with your stable life,  
your kind and firm ways, natural mothering.  
Planted in one spot, flourishing like a flower  
in a sunny window, like all my wishes come true.  
Beautiful girl, I wonder, how you ever beat my odds.  
*Note: This poem also appears in Deuce Coupe 6/11:
Written by pyrategurrll (Lauren Tivey)
Published | Edited 3rd Oct 2011
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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