Leah Mueller

Fleeing 2019 in a 2004 Ford

Sign on the freeway: silver alert.
Another elder said fuck it,
got into a red 2004 Ford
threw IDs out the window
and jammed the accelerator.

She took 1-90 east and
headed for the opposite coast,
laughing as she fiddled with the radio.

Relatives twisted napkins in knots
and punched numbers onto cell phones:
all of them beside themselves,
screaming at law enforcement for help.

Mom should be there for the grandchildren.
Dad needed to stay, so others
could feel superior to him.

Instead, flagrant disregard.
Mom and Dad have fled the scene
like teenagers, but in separate cars.

Dad split six months ago,
and no one ever found him.
He’s an adult and entitled to leave,
even if that does make him
a self-centered bastard.

After a while, we gave up looking.

When Mom left on New Year’s Eve,
the last day of the decade.
she swore she’d head straight into 2020,
and as far as I know,
she hasn’t stopped driving.

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