Last night as temperatures spiraled
toward zero and winds swirled
snow, my thoughts circled back
a few years to a night in Minneapolis
when I did donuts with my little son.
It was in January, in an empty
parking lot covered with snow.
In our old black Volvo I turned
to my son and said, “Are you
buckled in? Here we go!”
Under cones of yellow-orange light
I turned the wheel and hit the gas.
We slid blurry circles across the night-
orange snow, laughing and yelling,
“Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!…”
Sometimes you want to give it a whirl,
put all the chips on red—or be a big zero,
a no-show when 8 a.m. rolls
around for work or school. The world
is always turning. I put my foot down
and turned the wheel hard--
a dozen loose and useless circles in the dark.
First published in Poetry East, #60, Fall 2007