Driving from Suburbia
trees wave in Westchester.
grandfather’s laundry store on the corner of
we got regulars – a legacy.
piles of starched, white sheets in neat folded squares,
like the parceled backyard
the kitchen island
grab the keys,
hop into the spaceship Chevrolet Lumina-
mom, dad, grandma, son, daughter,
quiet sardines, slicked hum of highway
hear the air change.
smell the air change. pass the South Bronx
into the city
a habitual pilgrimage:
to Chinese School,
pangs of anguish felt for 8am Saturday cartoons to be missed,
again and again.
grandma prays in storefront temple.
mother shops for the best produce with fervor and elbows.
a greedy hand grabbing more than she can hold,
shiny beans, slipping between
but a sale is a sale.
father aloof, collects a stack of newspapers for the week,
assigned heavy-lifter for bag of rice, watermelon, gallon of vegetable oil, etc.
on the trip back to Westchester, my brother falls asleep, drooling.
he is startled awake by the moan and grumble of the
automatic 2-door garage
opening its mouth,
(Inspired by personal memories of family trips to Fort Lee from a suburb in NJ, and excerpts from oral histories with Susan Yung on 5/7/11 and activist Lida Shao 5/19/11.)
Do you have a suburban travel narrative?