I’ve been using a lot of the things you taught me
to keep myself safe lately.

How to make a proper fist or
how to tell someone no.
When to keep my shoes on.

I’m not letting anyone else drive home tonight.
I’ve never driven his van
but I can manage a stick.
You let me hurl your old Volvo through
that neighborhood of pastel mansions.

It’s dark but I know my way back
“you should pay attention to your surroundings”
I pause at newly green lights,
“That’s where I hit that car of drunk kids when they ran the red light.
Dude who was driving got lucky, they went in that ditch but nobody got hurt.”
And I sit up straight the whole way home.

-Erin Mathews