Posted by: fringe62 | March 8, 2011

A poem sent to me by a friend –

There were nights, the wee hours of the morning actually, when I would be driving across deserted interstates in Wyoming, with a full, bright moon reflecting off of the snow that I felt I could do this – drive for miles without headlights.  Even in the summer if the moon was bright enough, and I turned off the headlights for a few seconds, everything looked brighter and more surreal than you can imagine.   

I’d also like to take this time to remind you that when you’re traveling, rest areas are the most dangerous places to stop at night and sleep.  You’re better off pulling into a truck stop and parking in the car area.  Another pet peeve – if you pull a camper of any kind please DO NOT park in the truck parking area of a rest area overnight… even though the signs say that you should.  Believe me, the cops are not going to give you (the tourists – spending money in the state) a hard time for parking in the car area but they are certainly going to give a trucker a hard time and probably a ticket for parking there.  But I digress… I’ll be writing on that subject another time…   on to the poem – thanks Joan S!

Rest.
by Richard Jones

It’s so late I could cut my lights
and drive the next fifty miles
of empty interstate
by starlight,
flying along in a dream,
countryside alive with shapes and shadows,
but exit ramps lined
with eighteen wheelers
and truckers sleeping in their cabs
make me consider pulling into a rest stop
and closing my eyes. I’ve done it before,
parking next to a family sleeping in a Chevy,
mom and dad up front, three kids in the back,
the windows slightly misted by the sleepers’ breath.
But instead of resting, I’d smoke a cigarette,
play the radio low, and keep watch over
the wayfarers in the car next to me,
a strange paternal concern
and compassion for their well being
rising up inside me.
This was before
I had children of my own,
and had felt the sharp edge of love
and anxiety whenever I tiptoed
into darkened rooms of sleep
to study the small, peaceful faces
of my beloved darlings. Now,
the fatherly feelings are so strong
the snoring truckers are lucky
I’m not standing on the running board,
tapping on the window,
asking, Is everything okay?
But it is. Everything’s fine.
The trucks are all together, sleeping
on the gravel shoulders of exit ramps,
and the crowded rest stop I’m driving by
is a perfect oasis in the moonlight.
The way I see it, I’ve got a second wind
and on the radio an all-night country station.
Nothing for me to do on this road
but drive and give thanks:
I’ll be home by dawn.

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Responses

  1. Heather,
    So glad I happened upon the link on Facebook! Great work so far, looking forward to many more stories! Hope to see you soon!

    Kathy

    • Hi Kathy. Glad you found it too and glad you enjoyed. Plenty more coming. See you in a couple weeks at mom and dads! Thanks!

  2. Heather, your stories are wonderful. It makes me appreciate another life I am unfamiliar with. Keep up the great work.
    Sandy


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