My Mother Tries to Teach Me About Cars

If a man offers to help you
carry something heavy to your car
flex your biceps and say no thanks.

If a man pulls up next to you in his car
and gives you a thumbs-up
a holler    a compliment   a grunt
flip him the bird and keep running.

If a man pulls up next to you in his car
pants unzipped and hand jouncing,
fly like a bird in the other direction.

If a man asks for directions
tell him to get lost.

If a man asks you to smile
bare your teeth.

If a man does not ask.
If a man demands.
If a man uses his hands
to demand. If it is
too late to run
to fly   to speak   to bare

be a wrench
against his mouth.

March 1, 2020

Hannah Dow

Hannah Dow is the author of Rosarium (Acre Books, 2018) and has poems forthcoming in Shenandoah, The Southern Review, and Image. She was awarded the cream city review Summer Prize in Poetry, selected by Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and has received awards and scholarships from the Sewanee Writers Conference and Bread Loaf Orion. Hannah is Editor-in-Chief of Tinderbox Poetry Journal.

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