Travel With Children

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Isn’t it strange that 22 floors up
I can still hear a motorcycle
on the streets below?
Traffic streams through purple neon
cast from a building, and round
lights suspended like golden bubbles in champagne.

My kids take forever to settle,
in this strange place.
They hop in and out
of the fold away bed,
flash their flashlights on and off,
and need the bathroom one more time for the third time.

I wonder, those cars, who drives them
and to where?
First dates, late errands, dinner parties.
Busses, taxis, fake trollies, limos.
Or maybe someone is taking a sick pet to an all night animal hospital.

My son sniffs the sheets.
He thinks they smell like pee, but I
explain hotels just don’t smell like home.
My daughter is scared and comes
twice to cuddle mama.

Travel with children is no holiday,
I consider wryly, growing anxious
over the prospect of bedbugs, and
how a fire ladder could never reach us
up here, if need be, but those worries
pale in comparison to how tired we will all be tomorrow.

I stare out the window as my children bicker, and the view,
which is supposed to be a treat,
threatens to chew me up.

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