Clover Learns to Drive
First day of summer, almost 16, my son
and I leave the house at sundown
to practice night-driving.
“Can we take Clover?”
She loves short car rides. “Sure.”
From the backseat, Clover takes her usual spot standing
front paws on the center console
master and commander of this vessel
our lives are in her hands. She barks her approval at my son
adjusting mirrors, moving the seat to fit a human
a full foot taller than the car’s owner. Me.
“Ready, Clover?” he asks, and we’re goin’
Clover navigates the full seventy-
five miles, until we pull into the Westlake Randall’s
at 10:30 p.m. and dock our vessel in a parking space.
She has delivered us safely to our harbor. She retreats
to her cabin (the backseat) while we disembark and buy water.
She does not wake when we set sail for home, does not stir once.
“C’mon, Clover,” he says at midnight as he opens the craft’s door,
gathers his weary co-captain, still dreaming of hill country roads,
waves of asphalt.