Gail Ghai


I shouldn't, but I blame it on him,
his love of the high blue air
open like the easy vowels of freedom.
The way he waited for two radiant wings
of his silver Cessna to lift, lift,
leaving the earth,
the wife, the children behind.
And here I am,
soaring across Edmonton's High Level Bridge
at midnight in the old maroon '51 Pontiac, no license,
no business behind this wheel.
Only thirteen, yet my long legs, long fingers
fit this car the way my father fit his cock
pit like a racing glove, a racing
glove tight as the night
after night, I'd take this route.
My midnight run I’d call it.
Springs into summers, never got caught,
flabbergasting my mother when I did
a perfect parallel park
on my first time out
she thinking it's because I only dated guys
who'd let me drive their cars.
(I needed daytime practice.)

Maybe that's why now driving
through sweet hot Tennessee,
alone at four in the morning,
the husband, the children, the life
I've built by hand
behind me, I want to blame you, Gordon Anderson,
endowing me with your legacy of wanderlust,
my sticky itch for the road,
our lechery of flight plans and road maps.
My hands squeezing the gold leather wheel.
My foot pedaled to the floor,
waiting for that accelerated thrill,
that lift, that updraft,
waiting to capture
some of the wind's courage.