A History Major

Driving back from breakfast on the coast

you stopped to pick up a hitchhiker,

because we have said all the things we can say to each other.


Her wool cap straddled a swarm of white hair

rushing around itself like the foaming waves behind her.


You asked her where she was going. She said, “I’m a history major,”

as if there was only one place any historian could ever go from this moment

on Chuckanut Road halfway between Seattle and Vancouver.


She got in.

We moved on.


She told us the president didn’t want her to have her Kool Menthols,

how the gas station attendants are told to hide them from her,

how it was worse under Bush, better under Clinton.

She didn’t know where she was going only that she had this inheritance, she didn’t touch it she  

          swears, but that meant she couldn’t go to homeless shelters or receive government aid but       

          there was a motel in Anacortes she knew she just couldn’t remember the name right now

          and she didn’t have any money but she wanted to go there anyway and did we know the          

          name of it?

You dropped her off at the cheapest motel we knew, unloaded her luggage, drove away.

Liz Ann Young lives in Montana with a number of dogs and cats. She received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has been published in Alehouse, Out of Our, Inscape, Black Heart, Big Muddy, and CHEST.