Mother squeezes father’s driving arm.
He pulls over to the side of a country road.
I rise up in the backseat, enough
to see out the car window
without disturbing my sisters
who lean against me, drowsing.
Mother steps into the hollow of a ditch,
holding out her hands for balance.
She disappears beyond the tall grass.
I can see the red of her wide-collared jacket
moving deeper into the undergrowth.
Father rests a forearm on the edge
of an open car window. The air smells
damp with earth. A breeze rattles the catkins.
We are halfway to our destination.
Minutes tick by in puffs of breath
in the crook of an elbow. Mother’s
slacks are covered in tiny burrs
as she reemerges to the road. Her shoes
squelch standing water as she smiles
with all her teeth, holding a bundle
of green spears, fat as thumbs,
plumed with purple, which she cradles
carefully in her lap the rest of the way.