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Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

I’m six and riding in the huge Plymouth Fury
We are going down the highway, traveling where? who knows?
A semi passes on the left
staring at the sides as it passes
We are no longer moving forward
it seems we are hurling backward
Possibly at the same 75 miles per hour
we were going forward
just seconds ago.
My brain
fooled by the false reference point
could not be convinced otherwise.

I’m older now
we could never afford such a beast as the Plymouth Fury
Not at these gas prices
but looking at the latest cellphone
laptop, iPad, smartwatch
and it seems I am no longer moving forward
but backward
at the same velocity
speeding back to a day
when I had privilege, power, prestige
and the biggest problem of the day
was that June was worried about the Beaver.

Who am I kidding?
I am a woman —
never had prestige or power, just the privilege of proximity
to the white men that did
that are fighting to hold on to it
by a thread as thin and gray as their hair.
They will not protect me nor promote me.
Instead they will shove me back
like so many others
and expect my gratitude.

I can turn my gaze
from what is speeding by
to what is ahead

to a truer frame of reference
to hope
that we can do better
be better
That everyone can have a seat
in a forward-moving vehicle.
That everyone can be
and matter.