This is it, she thought, as the ’78 Toyota hatchback
Sputtered out at the top of the hill.
Time went into slow motion–
She blinked a glance at her twins in the rearview,
Dazzled expressions wandering about
As the countryside whirlwinded by.
Keenan still had a blue stain of cotton candy
Around the corners of his mouth.
Smiling, his hand whipped through
The summer heat like a cartoonish conductor.
She couldn’t help but to smirk at him.
Her gaze switched to Juliet,
Who was nodding along to a beat,
Though the music had died about a mile ago.
The little girl traced her finger along the stickers
That the twins had littered all over the insides
Of the back doors two months ago.
Some silly faces, some letters.
In the mirror, she could see the one
That Juliet was tracing now: EMOH
She darted her eyes forward,
And as the road slowed and the trees
And mile markers took longer to pass,
Time mercilessly started to speed up again.
Soon there would be questions. Complaints.
Soon they would run out of stories to read,
Food to eat, and there would probably
Be a tear or two. She held her breath
As she pulled onto the shoulder,
The car inching forward like a wounded soldier–
This is it.