Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Poem by Nina Bennett

Returning Your Granddaughter From Weekend Visitation

Head west on route 273, past the pond
where you skated in junior high.
Drive past Nutter's store,  You
rode your bike there on lazy summer days,
bought a popsicle, sped back down the hill,
hair flying out behind you, sticky cherry
slush on your cheek like blush.
Cross the state line into Maryland, drive
through horse country.  Past Fair Hill, where
your father took you to the Scottish Highland games.
Up and down hills, hope you don't get behind
a slow pickup.  Don't look at the Inn
where your parents hosted a luncheon
after your second wedding.

Wesley's will be on your left.  You had
a steak there, with your first husband,
the night before your son was born.
The package store just sold a winning
128 million dollar Powerball ticket.
You drive this way eight times each month
and never stop.
Creep through Rising Sun, home of the KKK.
Navigate the roundabout before 273 curves
to an end, turn left onto route 1.
Speed past a shabby bar, wood siding faded,
battered motorcycles lined up by the door.
Ease across the Conowingo Dam, fingers clenching
the wheel.  Floor it up a steep incline, pull
into the parking lot of the Harley dealer.
As you hug her, smell the crisp apple scent
of the shampoo you used on her hair this morning.
Your bathroom will smell like fruit salad
for days.  Take the Tinkerbell backpack from your trunk,
hand it to her stepfather, thank him
for meeting you halfway.  Pull away first,
so you don't have to watch her leave.

Delaware native Nina Bennett is the author of Sound Effects (Broadkill Press Key Poetry Series chapbook #4).  Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies such as Kansas City Voices, Big River Poetry Review, Shark Reef, Bryant Literary Review, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Philadelphia Stories, and The Broadkill Review.  Nina was a 2012 Best of the Net nominee.

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