Driving with Fear

By Bernadette Anderson

Driving home from my daughter’s house

dusk turns to dark

and I swap seats with my companion fear.

Fear grips the steering wheel tightly,

shuffles the seat forward,

so knees are knocking under the dashboard.

Rain splatters the windscreen

and fear turns the wipers on.

I wind my window down a touch.

Fear sits rigid, focused, holding its breath.

Traffic is building.

A sea of light,

headlights and streetlights twinkle in rain washed streets.

Hurried traffic slows fear.

Fear cannot see very well.

Cannot see, cannot see, cannot see

the wipers chant.

Keep left.

Check every mirror, check your blind spot.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Fear negotiates hazardous traffic

Suddenly, no signal at the intersection.

 Panic.

Fear carefully inches the car forward,

waits and waits and waits 

for the gap that won’t appear.

Traffic is filing up behind.

Finally,

fear pushes the pedal,

accelerates through a tiny gap.

Off the main road now,

I swap seats with fear.

I breathe.

The car pulls into the driveway.

I get out, quickly locking the car

and see fear lurking in the back seat

ready for tomorrows peak hour traffic.

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