Things grow in summer

My teenage summers were spent on
silver Greyhound SceniCruisers,
going back to see Midwestern relatives
who had stayed anchored there while
my family forged westward to Colorado,
returning home each August only as
time for school neared

I was a wizened city kid reveling in
Norman Rockwell’s America fair, a
fifteen-year old, middle-class Kerouac
minus the booze, lacking despair, with little
need for anguish or angst, no desire to

Endless miles of black top carried me more than
physically; far further than I ever knew, focused,
even then as I was less on the destination, more
on the journey, adventure…the way I still travel.

Each year two-thousand-plus miles of lyrical
road hum and random, countless once-only stranger
conversations, tall corn wavering, glistening heat,
rhythmic rain pelting panoramic windows views
that I quickly propped my small, square, traveling
pillow and poet’s head against so to fully partake.

There were midnight truck stop meals and dusty,
grimy and inviting oasis cafes with ten-cent
newspapers in towns with fewer residents than
my big city school; voracious road reading material
never left behind, folded, filed, kept; life-textbooks

Souvenir, gift-shop postcards and car window decals
were collected en masse, stored in a shoebox

I found Americana and kitsch to be cool.

I wrote while riding all those years on all those
rolling, silver-siren buses/muses – notebook after
spiral notebook, year after anticipated year; a richly
picturesque, naively profound chronicle of a bunch of
stuff– an evolving teenager’s worldly, compelling,
insightful, neo-passionate verse.

To read through those notebooks again here in
sedentary, bus-less middle age I realize just why my
vagabond soul is still ever ready to stuff a bag beneath
the seat in front of me and, quite simply,

ride, baby, ride…