Our words on the way there
crawled around the car like lobsters,
shedding shell until we
had little left to say
and sat, instead, in happy water-quiet,
content, among friends,
to let the waves of road
by and over us.

On the way back,
we four fish
sprouted feathers and began
to stretch our sentences out
light and airy as birdwings
setting our minds to flight.

A noise like a hunter's gun
brought us hurtling back to earth
where we flew out of the car
sank into the sand by the roadside
watching the overcast sky
for other birds
as we murmured to each other
our words flitting from question to question
as insubstantial
as the white smoke rising from our engine.