Half a home on the freeway 710 mobile big load painted
yellow and red a big rig and a big man I am behind again
Back on that freeway 101, “They join the pieces at the seal coming together at the stop.”
Mom points a thin finger cranking down the window in the truck
I am in two spots. Then three and or four more.
Sitting with my mom after a day at school, inside, in torn
lawn chairs. We are watching the windowed front load
washer spin. With tea and popcorn, the soap and the clothes
beat and sooth each other. “I can’t believe we have our own dryer now.” We
think with big eyes.
I am giving my grandparents directions. We drive into the park
in the BMW. My grandparents didn’t know and I didn’t know how to tell them.
They mutter, “You live here?” And they say they would prefer to wait in the car.
“I’ll give you a ride home” My friend tells me after softball practice.
“Oh. That’s okay, I’ll walk!”
“Where do you live.”
Points unclearly, “Over there” I mumble and change the subject.
“I wish I could buy you a real house.” Mom says later in a bathrobe
and we can hear the patter of the rain. “You deserve a house.” She whispers.
As I get out of the car. Late to class as always,
I remember, I have a trailer trash pin on my backpack.
By Cori Bratby-Rudd
Cori Bratby-Rudd is a queer LA-based writer and poet. She graduated Cum Laude from UCLA’s Gender Studies department, and is a current MFA Candidate in Creative Writing at Cal Arts. Cori enjoys incorporating themes of emotional healing and social justice into her works. She is currently living in the Los Angeles area and has been published in Ms. Magazine, The Gordian Review, Califragile, among others. She recently won the Editorial Choice Award for her research paper in Audeamus Academic Journal and was nominated as one of Lambda Literary’s 2018 Emerging Writers.