Not All Highways Have Tolls – Birth Mother’s Letter of Advice

Thomas, you will experience I-90,
its long stretch from Boston to Seattle
and Rochester to Buffalo between,
where it cuts twice through a mountain,

where you’ll have your first memory –
gray-haired lady without a face,
rearview mirror, radio knobs and buttons,
the window crank you’ll be too weak to turn.

You’ll travel every mile of this road
both ways. You’ll live within minutes
of its entrances for forty-five years,

but don’t. The gray-haired lady’s a medium
to others. When you can drive, take the exits.
Head north or south or up. Exit me, but don’t.

Tom Holmes is the founding editor of Redactions: Poetry & Poetics, and author of three full-length collections of poetry, most recently The Cave, which won The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013, as well as four chapbooks. His writings about wine, poetry book reviews, and poetry can be found at his blog, The Line Break. Follow him on Twitter: @TheLineBreak

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