Tag Archives: poem

Back Roads

back roads

American roads, the long and winding blacktop, often look the same.
The differences, the only changes you see, are the leaves of trees.
Same road signs and rails, same tire-rattling tar-bumps, everywhere you go.

I took a turn without thinking
A decision of unconscious need
Away from the four-lane highway
Onto an old back road

It’s easy to forget
To drive without thinking
And the miles go by
Before you realize

The road turned to half-sand
With trees encroaching
Before the mind recovered
Before a reemerging control

Where was I?
There was no telling
It was a secret stop
An unknown spot

A turn of the key
And even the engine quiets
Jarring the moment
With that change of tune

The windshield was shining
Soaking up the sun
And on the skin-sticking seats
My head drifted back

All of the things that I must do
Driving, work, bills to pay
Prompt the most vivid dreams
I fall asleep most readily
When I should be awake
But when I have permission
I fight to find my sleep

And yet there on that road
Parked between stands of trees
I drifted into a slumber
And then all simply ceased to be


There are those places that become more like moments than physical locations. Some of these places are temporary. They’re situations where everything is arranged just for some particular action. However, most of these momentary places are not transient themselves, but the experience that takes place makes them transient.

Roads are the perfect example of this nature of a place that lapses into the realm of time. Roads, by their very nature, provide momentary glimpses of a location. They are pathways between destinations. Journeys are given a lot of head-nods about value and learned understanding, but destinations will forever be our true focus. We like to be somewhere, after all.