I like standing in service stations
pretending I know how to drive a car.
I walk around the table of books
in WHSmith with my hands behind my back
twiddling my fingers as if I’m holding keys.
I nod knowingly at blokes
who say things like Good to stop for a bit.
I put my fists on my hips and yell
as I arch my back like Dad
on the way to Devon or Wales.
I order a large caffeinated breakfast tea
to say This should see me through.
I start conversations in McDonald’s queues
about A roads and how it’s difficult
to keep a toddler busy in the back of the car
but how his smile in the rear view mirror
is a punch to the part of me that always thought
I could teach him how to drive a car
and keep himself safe.
© Carl Burkitt 2022