Posted May 26, 2019.

2019 Spring Contest Winner: 3rd Place, Members Only

Roadtrip, Interstate 65

by Sallie Ehrman

On the cusp of forty, I’m dating a man who starts

his day with a cigarette and coffee. Outside the laundry room,

Motel 6, Louisville, Kentucky, I can hear him laugh out loud

watching Cheers. How many Pete’s Summer Ales

will he drink tonight? It’s hot and he’s been driving all day.

 

We’ve only been together five months. My daughter,

six years old, calls him Da-Da. He lets her change channels

and buys her orange soda. I don’t stop him. Here comes

my girl wrapped in a thick towel after swimming. We listen

to traffic and washing machines.

 

With chalk from my backpack I draw a miniature USA.

I tell her where to stand, Louisville. Our city, Bisbee,

Arizona, is where she stretches to, almost falling over.

When I suggest that we walk home or hitch a ride, she giggles.

But I know how drunk he can get.

 

Poet bio

One of Sallie Ehrman’s favorite activities as a poet is to teach poetry. Currently, she teaches two different 4th grade classes once a month. Her grandson is in one of the classes, which brings her special joy. She also teaches her cut-up poetry method in adult education classes.

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