Nothing Happened

This was years ago and never happened. Dad is driving. We are on a long trip. Mom rides beside him. She’s talking. Their cigarettes are in full bloom. My older brother has disappeared into something he brought to keep busy. I’ve brought nothing, just foolishness. Mom points at a tree growing out of high rock face, the uneven diagonal layers of rock scorched with vertical blasting lines. The tree is broken. It’s roots slipping out from only a hint of soil. The trunk hangs by a strip of bark. I see the tree as if it were in the car with me. Mom makes a metaphor I fail to understand. My brother ignores her. Dad nods, keeps driving. But I hang onto it and driving my own family today, I saw it again. Same tree. I swear. And Mom’s metaphor came again. But there is nothing to be learned from such things. Keep driving. Live your damn life. Stop waiting to understand the metaphor. None of this ever happened.