Driving Lessons


Poem by Nausheen Eusuf


"CFCC Parking Lot" ©  Kolin Toney; Creative Commons license

Driving Lessons

At six, the sun no longer in our eyes,
we circle the little archipelago
of the parking lot at Newton North,
cautious on the gas and quick on the brakes
as you make each slow turn. Too close. Too wide.

A man and a woman walk by with a dog.
He gestures at something. She looks and laughs.
We pass them. They reappear in the mirror,
their movements a strange, slow pantomime.
Are they happy? The dog tugs. They follow.

Further down, a boy and a girl sit on a bench
watching us. Seniors, perhaps, at the school.
He’s hunched forward, elbows on his knees.
We pass and return. He leans back, legs crossed,
fists jammed in the pockets of his faded red shorts.

They offer, at least, some character, even plot,
unlike the trash can and traffic cone on the curb.
She tosses her hair, bleached and dark at the roots.
He leans and rests his head on her lap. We pass.
Have they quarreled? Made up? We return.

We continue our circling and they theirs,
even as daylight dwindles to indistinction
(how tentative each turn, approach, retreat),
and above the islands of our endless circuit
the lights, at last, diffuse their meager solace.


Art Information

Nausheen EusufNausheen Eusuf is a Ph.D. candidate in English at Boston University. Her poetry has appeared in RattleSouthwest ReviewPN ReviewSalmagundi, World Literature Today, and other journals. Her first collection of poems, Not Elegy, But Eros, was published by NYQ Books in November 2017. Driving Lessons” also appears in Not Elegy, But Eros.

For more information, visit Nausheen Eusuf’s website.


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