Somewhere outside New Orleans I lost my voice
about there the pages in my journal are blank.
This country was too big for me,
and my small noises.
When the car started bucking
just outside the hundred miles
I couldn’t help but smile.
Even as an adult, these things you fear can really come true.
But by the time we got to Salinas,
we were used to the revving and
I was back to driving without shoes.
I still didn’t have my voice
and had to keep shouting things twice
over the roar of the wind
through the open windows.
After we bickered outside the John Steinbeck library
and sometime before we drove up Polk Street
in San Francisco
that you didn’t think we would really do this.
I told you of course we would,
what else could two lost people do?
Where else do you go when the frustration
of being dispossessed
for years turns your vision black?
What else is there when all your belongings
fit into the corner of the garage
of your childhood home,
and your father is upstairs waiting
to tell you they took him off the chemo?
But you didn’t hear anything past
of course we would,
because my voice was snuffed out.
You just heard my resilience, saw my smile,
and believed that I believed it was this easy.
– Ally Malinenko © 2009