Saturday, June 4, 2022


The trip was disappointing,
At least in that they had planned
To spend most of the summer

On a farm in Montana
Living as the guests of friends.
The friends turned out to not be

Terribly prepared for guests,
Nor really all that friendly.
The planned three-month adventure

Through the Lower 48
In a big, borrowed Buick
Ended after forty days

And seven thousand road miles,
Looping through twenty-some states
But never really staying

Long enough in any place
To soak the whole of it in.
They sighed, All that traveling,

But then we never really
Got to enjoy anything.
They were back in the Deep South,

Sitting on her parents’ porch
On a muggy July night,
A few early firecrackers,

Popping in nearby backyards.
Same old, same old, same old, and
Many muggy months to go.

The day they left Montana
After a single, fractious
Week spent sharing a trailer,

A bald eagle had landed
Beside them while they picnicked
On the shore of Flathead Lake.

In the northern plains, they’d paused
To read the plaque in the grass
Marking the prehistoric

Shoreline of Lake Agassiz.
In Idaho, they’d pulled out
At a viewpoint looking down

On a vast sweep of blooming
Camas lilies below them.
On Mount Washington, the wind

Whipped their hair so much they laughed
As they tried to take pictures.
All these things. All of these things.

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