Wednesday, May 2, 2012
You will always find someone
To gaze with you through the broken window of your life.
You will stretch out your pitiful injured wing in that practiced way,
And they will leave their fingertips
Severed against your skin
Removing the shards you flew into
I had to get away
From the hospital smell and the bad blood.
Saving you is a fool's errand,
And I was numb with it.
If Jesus were alive today,
He would take Amtrak.
When I was young, I traveled St. Louis, Jackson, Galveston, OKC, Tulsa, Falstaff, L.A., Portland, Seattle and Vancouver,
Then across Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota and back home.
And can circle again;
Sometimes between the spinning Earth and the changing sky,
There is even a point of balance to be found.
Listening to "Desolation Row" and falling south from Chicago down to Springfield,
I saw the capitol building lit gold in the night
As I shared a meal in the dining car
With a nice man who demanded nothing of me.
In Arkansas, an ice storm had ruined the trees,
And in Texarkana, I felt as weary as I have ever been;
But somehow, and 23 hours behind schedule, we rolled into San Antonio,
Where I had lived those years before I knew you.
In the stillness of pre-dawn,
I shared a cab with a soldier bound for Fort Sam.
Paying my share outside the Menger, I stood alone with my bag and savored the Texas city I love.
When I came back to Michigan,
You didn't bother to meet my train;
But I had been home,
I had been sane,
And I knew to a certainty as I walked my way to the house we would soon sell,
That you would not destroy me
And that I had been redeemed.
for Kerry's challenge at Real Toads. She asked for poems about the road.
Bottom photo: the Illinois capitol (capital? I can never remember) in Springfield, at night. I remember so vividly how it looked from the train.
The Menger Hotel is my favorite hotel, a historic landmark in downtown San Antonio. it is reputed to be haunted.
I debated what music to put with this poem, and thought about Emmylou's "Tulsa Queen", but in the end decided to go with this, because it reminds me of the early part of the trip, through Chicago, and also the double entendre of LSD, which suits the trip I took.