I’m running out of gas.
In Chapel Hill, it’s 1979 again.
Colonial Pipeline leaked
250,000 gallons of oil,
pandemonium spread east like a rash.
It’s Tuesday and the pumps are dry.
Our governor tells us not to panic.
We do it anyway.
Last night, my ten-year-old informed me
he has three days to complete
a three-week research project on a biome.
There are questions that need answers: Who lives in the Deciduous Forest Describe the Animals. Why do they live there?
Lines of cars coil out of BPs and Kangaroos;
a hundred snakes waiting to swallow one rat.
When a man filled his car plus ten gas cans,
the station limited us to ten dollars.
My son scavenges through desk drawers and toy bins,
finds a Lego tree, a plastic snake, realistic-looking rocks
I reach under the sink to give him cotton balls for clouds—
Anything to make the home he needs.
Parenting has stolen my reserves,
turned my life into a run-on Post-it note: Field trip on Friday-turn in form, scout popcorn show and sell Sunday 9-3, reply to teacher’s email, RSVP to birthday party, pack lunch, check homework, load washer, empty dryer, get ready for work.
The state says only First Responders are getting fuel.
Terri Greco is a poet and psychotherapist. Drawing upon personal and professional experience, her poems reflect the frailties and triumphs of being human and a mother. Her work has appeared in online and print journals including, “Poetry Quarterly,” “Forage Poetry, ” “I’m Not a Silent Poet,” and “The Gambler.” She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with her husband and son.