I was glad to. After all,
it would be just him and me in the cab
together for eight whole hours,
talking. He’d been away at college
for four whole years, text-messaging
every now and then, and now
I expected some full sentences.
That was the deal. In return
we’d use my credit card and I would drive
him and all his worldly possessions
home. Somewhere around Delaware
the mirror on the passenger side
starting turning inward against the wind
and I couldn’t see, and it wouldn’t
stay when we opened the window
and readjusted it. I told him
to take off his shoes and give me his laces,
and I’d pull over and tie the mirror
to the antenna to keep it from drifting.
He asked me why his shoes and not
my shoes? It was a good question,
the kind of question you might debate
in a sociology class in college
if you were still in college. But we were
speeding down I-95 in a U-Haul
with one functioning mirror, a resourceful
father at the wheel, a credit card
in his pocket, his thumbs keeping time
to an old-fashioned song in his head
that only he could hear, and a son
drowning out that song now, turning
the radio on. Loud. Louder. Silently
bending down to untie his shoes.

“U-Haul” by Paul Hostovsky from The Bad Guys. © Future Cycle Press, 2015. Reprinted with permission.  (buy now)

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