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Wing Mirror

The driving seat

Have you ever ridden on the back seat, Dad? 

Yes, I’ve ridden on the back seat— 

As a child
I rode on the back seat
going on holiday, with my parents up in front.
As in a dream I heard their voices far away,
talking about me. 

As a teenager
I rode on the back seat,
in the comforting dark
of a carful of bodies crushed together,
restless with new feelings. 

At my father’s funeral
I rode on the back seat,
too old for childish tears, too young
to wear with ease the hour’s solemnity. 

in cars to the airport in the early morning
I ride on the back seat,
with my suitcase, passport, currency,
my schedule printed neatly by my assistant, 

but today
I’m in the driving seat. 

One day I expect 
I shall ride again on the back seat.
Maybe you’ll be at the wheel.
I’ll hear your voices far away,
talking about me,

but for today
I’m in the driving seat.