Joyride

a poem by 
ANN RANDLETTE | Medical Assistant + Poet


MY three siblings and I run
out of our grandparents’ home, escape
our father’s furor, our mother’s drunken care.

We pile into the huge Mercedes. At the wheel
Grandpa Ceece guns the engine, grins
his toothy smile, says, “are you ready?”
and floors it.

We burst out of their blind driveway
onto the main road. Traffic
is a mystery we hurtle into.

I yell in fear and joy, eyes
open or closed, at the brake screaming close calls. We
rocket down the two-lane road, our
roller coaster ritual, slew
into the dirt parking lot at the little store
five minutes away.

After we meet the owner, greet
his dogs, we all sit out front
with our ice cream bars.

I answer Grandpa’s questions as we
all watch the gulls
plummet and rise above the waves.

 Photograph by Clem Onojeghuo