This is halfway and a place where the foglights
always have to come on. We let the budgie out –
she knows this room from year to year,
darting into the alcove, with its single bed
almost completely walled off. I want it,
but my father needs the sleep, and so I go
in with my mother and brother. Outside is dark
and sparkly, black pines rising high
over the motorway and the air full of elves.
At first I can only say bitte
and danke schön, but the time comes
when I can order for my father in the restaurant,
and feel the stirrings of a career.
The words are as good as the food –
ice cream mit heißen Brombeeren.
But year by year, the journey gets quicker;
we start to arrive in daylight, even mid-afternoon,
and finally they say, Let’s just press on.
If you have any comments on these poems, Annette Volfing
would be pleased to hear from you.