Road trip, 1965 –

When I was a kid we
planted trees by the lake

72 pine seedlings hauled
north in milk cartons
arranged on the back
floor of a ’39 Dodge

the trees and I were
small, green, pliable
in need of nurturing

the Dodge sits now in a
junkyard, the remaining
pines scrape the sky

I remember each and
every one, hardly trying

Campfire poem # 54

The embers of the campfire glow, fade
with the vagaries of the waning lake breeze
brilliant orange, gray, orange, silver, orange

reminding me of 1969; flashing, broken neon
small, single level roadside motels
on old black-and-white signed U.S. highways

frequented by people like those in my parents
blue Plymouth Fury; mom and dad up front,
my grandfather and I in the cavernous back seat;
Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone Park, Colorado.

Roadside neon ‘VACANCY’ signs beckoned;
scratchy carpet, the aroma of Pine Sol, two beds –
on lucky nights, the amusement-park caliber
Magic Fingers variety – thrill ride for a dime

The embers are fading… lighter orange, silver,
gray. Bright orange, a last time. luminous silver,
gray to wispily smoldering black.

Sign fire flickers out; memories burn brightly