With Child
Marni Asplund-Campbell, editor

Fighting with My Mother
Susan Elizabeth Howe

[p.121] My mother, riding
next to me as I drive,
watches at stop signs.
She’s looking right
for dangers
that might have an impact
on our relative positions
in the car.
Trying to avoid
accidents, she says,
“Clear right.”
Looking left, I ask
myself shall I trust
our lives to her
judgment? or
turn to see
for myself?
“Still clear. Clear right.”
However long
I hold my eyes
left, or straight,
I finally turn my stiff
neck to see
what she says isn’t
coming. But
sometimes it is.