Vagabond (Road Trip)

img_1553With my aunt laid out in the back seat sick,

my sister took the passenger seat and we headed

east and north up the 395 stopping as minimally as possible.

The talk was non-existent except where it was strained.

I remembered road trips with my sister back in her teens and

early 20s when she was wanting to see the world

embrace it and find out so so much about it

when she had dreams and hopes and all those things

that are supposed to be ahead of you.

I tried not to think of hope with her in the car.

This is all your fault. You never should have ________________.

That blank could be anything, was anything.

I hadn’t hung out with her in seven years.

What was my fault anymore?

But it went deeper and longer than a 12-hour car ride

up 395 where the wind whips up to slate granite rock

and slides back down into your bones.

I wasn’t blaming myself for anything yet.

I was saving that for later.


Her eyes were wide and dead and gray

and her temper was on the edge of her seat.

She rocked back and forth–out of rhythm with the radio

but in time to her head.

Fuck you for trying to save me, she said.

and she was out of cigarettes and cash

and hated me.


About margaretelysiagarcia

Margaret Elysia Garcia primarily writes fiction, essays and poetry from a remote corner of the Sierra Nevada. She's currently working on a non-fiction book about plus-sized modeling. She's also searching for a publisher for her new collection of stories? Mary of the Chance Encounters. Her short story collection Sad Girls & Other Stories out now on Solstice Literary Press. She blogs here and at Throwing Chanclas and Girl Body Pride. Is a contributor to Hip Mama Magazine. She writes the zine The Adventures of Sad Girl with her daughter, Paloma. She’s a three-time director of the national Listen to Your Mother Show in Plumas County ( She has an alternative women’s music show Milkshake & Honey on Plumas Community Radio (
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