Thursday, April 9, 2009

Things Seen Along the Road

After the annual Spring Break Road Trip to Jack's Grandma, my mom, I'm inspired to post something about the road. Coming home we always stop at Schoop's diner for fabulous, "hand-shaped" burgers that extend way beyond the bun. Schoops in located on US 30, in Warsaw, Indiana, about 30 miles west of Fort Wayne.

And here's a road poem based on 3 Guys from Albany's first major tour to perform in Albanys in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. The poem also appears in my book, All Over America: Road Poems, just released by Foothills Publishing.

Things Seen Along the Road

dry cracked swimming pools of mom and pop
motels alongside two-lane country roads,
proud hand-lettered signs proclaiming

porches of America backyards of America
sidewalks of America empty empty empty,
storefronts of America with notes on the door
“moved to the mall”

sunrise t’ai chi in Madison, Wisconsin,
lawyers waiting for the mail,
the late-again clerk, overqualified, underpaid, too young,
and too in love with Lake Mendota to ever leave

scrub-faced kids strolling grade school corridors
that gleam like seminary wood
between walls of crayola art and alphabets,
the teacher’s wide-eyed tales of other worlds

Dave and Mary Mason in their small town diner
handing out free cups of coffee and donuts
for a song and dance among empty tables
during the mid-morning lull

American Flyer little red wagons with fire hoses used
to shoot kegs across the town park lawn for charity,
little girls who prance and pray for blue
ribbons along the banks of the Ol’ Mississippi

laughing high schools festooned for
saturday afternoon football fantasies,
teams of well trained pom pom girls in cheery face,
back row boys dreaming of cartwheels

fresh-faced farm kids marching Main St. against drugs
while the principal spins peace pipe memories
the civics teacher lights his after dinner bong
and bones up on his amendments

rivers rivers rivers of uncompromising cars and trucks
reststops fuming with sweat and grease,
hawks of America over farmland fields
James Dean’s grave in flatland Indiana.

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