Wanting Out

by Rebecca Ethridge Issue: Spring/Summer 2020

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.



Rebecca Ethridge

Rebecca Ethridge is an MFA Candidate in Poetry at UNC Greensboro. She also tutors students at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College in all aspects of the writing process. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Kakalak, The Alembic, and The Great Smokies Review.