Once We Roadtripped

by Erica Berry

eight hours in the car—
mid july and our necks stick to the back of the seats

cornfields and mustard fields
i want to crawl out the open window and dash across the highway
leap across the yellow divider and into the tall golden stalks
press my cheek against the cool brown earth

we pull up to a motel
a tv, an empty mini-fridge and 27 channels
a squirrel on a tightrope and a kitchen renovation

there’s a golf course outside one window
and a huddle of trailers outside the other
slouched behind a tall chain link fence
yellow striped awnings and satellite dishes

we run towards the manicured 9-holes

sprinklers ticking in semicircles on the bright green grass
(you think you understand it
and then tztztztz they spin around and spray you)

we leap over the little knolls
spin round the red-flagged poles
do a little marimba cha-cha
our feet skating across the moist green blades

looking back, this is a fleeting moment
before the sun sinks below the willow trees
and the hotel manager runs at us like we’re the crazy ones