On the Road, So To Speak

Marjorie Saiser

Marjorie Saiser

On the Road, So to Speak is published by MSUL Short Edition as part of it's call for stories of The American Road and in coordination with the MSU Broad Art Museum's exhibit Interstates of Mind. Marjorie Saiser's novel-in-poems, Losing the Ring in the River, tells of three generations of women (and some of their secrets). Clara made of her life the best she could (or did she?), her daughter Emily was in many ways stuck, and her granddaughter Liz has the spirit which might help her to persevere through obstacles. The book (by University of New Mexico Press) won the Willa Award for Poetry in 2014, and is made into a play.

You wanted to drive to Luigi's
because, as you said, you were pulling
down good money, you got paid every
Friday, and every Friday you liked to eat.
In the side mirror I saw half my face:
my earring, my uncareful hair. I liked it,
stretched my legs in my black stockings
straight out in front of me, like my life,
crossed them, my skirt so very short.
I've seen half my face in the side mirror
of each of your cars since that one.
Take my car, you said. So I eased it
down into the farmstead of my ex-in-laws
to pick up my son. Big muscle, big day, big
hood like the bow of a ship when I
braked at the fence and got out and
waved to the house, the porch, the
disdain. I'm going to indulge for a moment
right here right now before I get back to
working on myself. Because, as the trucker
in the Consolidated Freightways said to me on
the CB after I blew past him in that marvel of a car:
Breaker, Breaker, lookee here at mile marker 59,
Go ahead, Lady, no sense hanging back. His voice
like the voice of God coming out of the speakers:
Today I'm not giving points for humble.

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