Why We Took Away Mom's Car Keys

Joan Wiese Johannes

The sun is setting when Mom arrives.
She tells me semis blew past her
and a white limousine rode her bumper
until she saw a sign for Eden
and took the exit.
The old road lined with gold-
leafed trees was gone.
The new road went past Wal-Mart.
When she saw a green dinosaur,
she turned at the Sinclair station
and headed home.
But Eden is south of Oshkosh,
and Mom has no reason to go there.
I ask where she was going,
and she looks at me as if I should know,

just looks at me as if I should know
when I ask where she was going,
since Mom has no reason to go
to Eden, south of Oshkosh.
And headed home,
she turns at the Sinclair station
when she sees a green dinosaur.
The new road goes past Wal-Mart.
Leafed trees lie ahead
the old road lined with gold.
And she takes the exit
when she sees a sign for Eden.
A white limousine pulls over;
no semis blow past her.
The sun is setting when Mom arrives.

 
 
Joan Wiese Johannes

Joan Wiese Johannes

Joan Wiese Johannes’ most recent chapbook is He Thought the Periodic Table Was a Portrait of God from Finishing Line Press. She co-edited the 2012 Wisconsin Poet’s Calendar with her husband Jeffrey and collaborates with him for readings, during which she also performs on the Native American-style flute.

 

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