Driving with Kate

Driving with Kate,
It seems everything will be fine, after all.
She is happy and confident,
Navigating around cones and pedestrians.

Sometimes it seems she goes too slow
But she seems to be enjoying herself,
So I let it go, let it go, let it go . . .
She comes upon a stopped car too quickly and I jerk—

“I see it, dad!”
Yes, she sees—she sees everything,
And me in the passenger seat,
I see nothing but passing time
A trail of tears
An old yellow dog gone mad in the teeth
A clenched fist
Another broken school year
Promises upon promises
Until the light turns green.