Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Mini Van

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It doesn't know we brought it home
when the kids could only pedal,
or that they drive their own cars now.
Nothing in its belts or pistons
gives it power to recall
the sleepover birthday guests in
its bouncing backseat,
or the giggles about the boy in class
and his field-trip heels-dug-in panicking protests
as they "forced" him onto a screaming rollercoaster.
It never heard the A to Z games, the yelled-out roadside letters,
or the "punch buggies" and "cheese squeezes"
as it sped us down the highways.
It doesn't remember—nor did it know then—
my fifteen-year-old, six-foot-something boy
squished between his tween sister
and her chipmunk-cheeked friend, lollipop-stick poking out.
Its upholstery and carpet doesn't reminisce on
soggy beach-towel smells,
on how seven seats made it ideal
for each kid to bring a friend on family outings
or to soccer games—
Red, white, and black pentagons rolled about the floor.
It was deaf to the sing-along "la la la la live out loud,"
and to the arguments—words we want to forget.
It's a machine.
It waits by the sidewalk
to be cleaned,
listed in the classifieds,
and sold,
and it knows none of this
as I walk past it to
my smaller, more practical ride,
and pause for a few seconds
to lay a warm palm against
its cool, metal, unfeeling door.

Laura Johnson has recently been published in Time of Singing, Blue Heron Review, The New Southern Fugitives, Snakeskin, and others. Her first full collection of poetry, Not Yet, will be released by Kelsay Books in April of 2019. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University and teaches high school ESOL in the state of Georgia.

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