artwork for Peter Krumbach's poem Caravan

Caravan
Peter Krumbach

I admire you, toddler caught in my headlights at 2:27 AM,
crawling north on all fours in the fast lane of Interstate 5.
I know you want me to think I’m dreaming you, so quaint
in your naïveté and sequined diaper. I guarantee,
toddler, you’ll be a judge. Every toe and dimple
part of the justice, and as I follow you in first gear—
making sure some eighteen-wheeler on meth
doesn’t swipe you off the road—I pray for you,
for your invisible sheep, ducks, and the world’s tunnel
you gaze into with your huge doubloon eyes. Your body
will catch up to your head, toddler, don’t worry.
Keep crawling, I see no blood. You float, frictionless,
an inch above ground. By dawn you’ll disappear again,
hide somewhere midair, known only to swallows and gnats.
I’d love to buy you socks, gloves, and kneepads, toddler,
or a tiny rolling bed. But you favor unhindered crawl,
the breeze kneading your dough. Do you have a breast
or two to feed you? At some point you’ll need a haircut.
Do you mind if I stop my car, give you a sponge bath?
You can keep moving while I scrub your back. You look
like a cub, toddler. No, you look like the future coming on,
passing signs and billboards, ignored by guards
and minutemen. Here’s my exit, toddler.
Can I let you re-enter the unlit night?



Peter Krumbach’s Comments

“Caravan” was first published in Copper Nickel. I wrote this poem in bed, right after I dreamed it.

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Frigg: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 60 | Fall/Winter 2022