Fate on the Highway

Driving back from the beach, I talk to my dead father. Tell him what happened before doesn’t have to happen again. We reminisce over his schemes. As usual, I’m doing all the talking—that hotdog stand he built, the solar panels on the roof, his days with measuring tape in hand. The familiar silence merges between us same as always. Adrift in the night, I accelerate past all doubt that he no longer loves me. I follow a trail of taillights out across the bridge and there he is: thumb in the air, hitching a ride through my mind.

Karen Benke is a poet-teacher with California Poets in the Schools and the author of a chapbook of poems, Sister, and the handwriting guide for kids, Rip the Page!


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