Driving My Granddaughter Back to Her Dad’s House by Susan Vespoli

Driving My Granddaughter Back to Her Dad’s House

trees covered
with blossoms toss
shade over bus stops. Yellow
palo verde and purple jacaranda
offering refuge to roofless beings
on a street where my son
was roused from sleep
by a cop, then shot
on his last

carts piled with
blankets, plastic bags,
a man holding a cardboard
sign at the stoplight: HUNGRY.
People huddled in the shadow
of the onramp. A roadside
altar: flowers and
a wooden

I drop
into a litany
of what I might
have done differently
until Molly points and shouts, Look!
from her car seat. Two massive
trees backlit in sunlight,
lavender and gold
like wind


Susan Vespoli is a poet from Phoenix, AZ. Susan’s poems have appeared in Rattle, Anti-Heroin Chic, New Verse News, Mom Egg Review, Gyroscope Review, and others. She is the author of Blame It on the Serpent (Finishing Line Press, Jan. 2022) and Cactus as Bad Boy (Kelsay Books, 2023). https://susanvespoli.com/

2 thoughts on “Driving My Granddaughter Back to Her Dad’s House by Susan Vespoli

  1. My Congratulations on your poem. I tremble and blanche wondering if this relates to an actual event that affected your (Susan’s) family. On the other hand, I do realize that monstrous events involving outrageous acts of gun violence seem perpetual in this world, in these times. The homeless and hungry, nonetheless, also haunt this time. The sidewalk stations of the cross are familiar and apt. The juxtaposition of the (your?) grand-daughter’s epiphany of sunlight between trees, the jingle of wind chimes with the horror that will be revealed, confuse me. I am simultaneously horrified, stunned, shattered, confused, struck dumb – which is how the human psyche responds to trauma, devastation and sudden tragedy. Your poem has blown me away. I need to understand more. This poem is an atom bomb!

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