Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

right after my parents were married

by Justin Hyde

they lived in blairstown
with mom's parents.
mom got on
as a second shift rn
in cedar rapids
and dad took up
with a cement crew
out of van horne.

every night around seven
grandpa would get a call
from opie
down at the tavern.

dad was getting surly-drunk

starting fights.

grandpa and grandma
would drive to the square

grandma would drive on home
while grandpa stuffed dad
in the passenger seat
of dad’s camaro
and drove him home.

they'd repeat it
couple hours later.

they started hiding
dad's keys
but dad found
an old sears tandem
with pneumatic tires
out in the garage.

grandpa hauled it
to the landfill.

finally discovered
if they could get dad
into the basement
with a couple bottles
and his eight track player
he'd run course

thirty years later
i'm drinking tequila
in opies. opie
still tends bar.
looks to be
eighty years old.

grandpa is

dad and i
don't speak.

i roll an empty shot glass
back and forth
in my palm
thinking about grandpa
trying to stuff my dad
in the camaro and
my old man
pumping that sears tandem
four miles
over gravel roads.

i'm not sure why

but it makes me
feel proud.

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