Leeds to Bournemouth. by Sally Michaelson

Dad jams a jigsaw
of tote-bags and suitcases
into the tied-down boot

of our Vauxhall Viva,
wedging all four sisters
onto the backseat

perched on the pull-down
pow-wows of smoke
from Dad puffing a havanna

plume my eyes raw –
ponies cantering across
a New Forest road

make him break sharply
thumping my head
against his leatherette seat

somewhere near Southbourne
a first sighting of the sea
makes one of us a winner

tinned grapefruit segments
are served in the dining-room
once Dad has stretched his legs.

Sally Michaelson is a conference interpreter in Brussels. Her poems have been published in Ink, Sweat and Tears, Lighthouse, Algebra of Owls, The Bangor Literary Journal and Amethyst.