Rides Home from White Lake

The most effective lullabies
I ever heard
Red Wings games announced
in emphatic punctuation
on the radio
riding from White Lake
back to Sylvan Lake
down M-59
in my mom's Chevy Cavalier—

a sort of backwards elongated 'E' displayed in the formation of
those stereo button lights
that were illuminated.

It is the heaviness of night
and a soft blackness
that I can recollect as tucking me in
on sleepy night rides.

Very few realizations stay with us
but that of the heaviness of night
pins me still
as if its weight
compressed my small frame with a certain softness

powder sifting down into
hefty accumulation.

The paradox is this:
the thinness of
childhood eyelid skin
simultaneously so heavy with sleep

the memorized distances
detected by telltale turns
and the rolling track of distinct spots of brightness
across those folds.

The Big Boy
and McDonald's
the airport

each dealership—
fields of light that shift across the roof
in maps of powder beam

Therefore I knew when we'd arrived home
before halting
and without looking—

running in to show my dad
the goodie bag Yia Yia had given me
to bring home:
brown paper and
Little Debbie snack cakes

the heaviness having found him as well
in his recliner.

Heaven is a circuit
weaving between the inland lakes

connecting the dots
and back again.

I will fall awake and wake asleep
in reverse
as the light
pulls in retrograde age across slit eyes—

between my tonight
and a porch somewhere before
where my grandparents' living permanence
is still marked by
a throaty 'goodnight'
a 'drive safe'
the charred Greek hamburger meat and onions
blending within the fine grain emulsion of night's kingdom
a beetle scorched to the walkway
a husk in the nighttime
and a fantastical explanation.

Every moonlight locale within our distances
has obtained new sentimentalities
with each age I've known

but all along
the announcer's voice has on some wavelength
existed in galloping volume
each time the puck nears the crease
or the car skates toward
streetlamp beam
stretching near
larger and larger.