I know the store by its street corner, by my father’s lazy misnaming –
Wester-notto becomes Western Auto only when I am old enough
to love my own used hatchback, when I drag its muffler
the last few miles home from work behind me;
everything is coated, still, with a layer of sawdust thick enough
that I could follow my own footprints back through the aisles –
like I might have then, unnoticed through the door
and over the sidewalk to stand arms open on the tracks
that bisected Second Street when the trains still ran,
but I am grown now, nearly, and have almost forgotten
the desire to earn my father’s grip so tight on my arm I wear it
for a week; can’t remember that quiet defiance, the glare
of an oncoming engine unslowed.
Alicia Wright was born and raised in West Virginia and received an MFA in poetry from Bowling Green State University. Her work appears in Kestrel, The Cape Rock, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, and elsewhere.