My father did not hug trees—he hit them,
sometimes with his fists but mostly with his car
when he’d back out after arguments,
my mother still screaming. He would rev
the engine, shred the mess under his tires.
I rode with him once when he needed trees.
He punched the gas, tires set, his head
finally focused on moving past everything
he left. I cried out
when the car swerved off the road—
and for a moment, he saw me there,
in the backseat
cowered against the door.