Northwords Now Issue 36

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Driving Lesson

by Merryn Glover

You have the keys
and a handful of lessons
under your belt
while I have empty hands
and the passenger belt
across my heart,
feet together, lips sealed.

Our first time swapped,
you reverse out of the drive,
and accelerate away, leaving
the sunset behind till
it meets us again down the hill
lighting the river,
your concentrated face,
my eyes.

You are changing gear,
navigating new roads
over bridges and round bends
that I say you take too fast.
You say the instructor says
you hesitate too much
and I say
If in doubt go slow
but you say
You are not in doubt.

You practice roundabouts,
indicating entering and leaving.
Then the long road through the forest
as the day ends
in fading colour on the loch
a glow on the white mountains.

Near the slope where we used to go sledging
you do a three-point turn.
The full moon rises behind the trees
and I hear its instruction:

Look left, look right,
Pay attention this night.
He is indicating
He is leaving