He would make the drive

From LA to Houston

From Houston to New York

From New York to Minnesota


dessert rocks


red clay dirt

Baked unbearably


By the unrelenting

Hands of the sun

And chiseled unmercifully

By sand-laden wind


The haul went unabated

Save for the occasional

Trip to a visitors bureau

a truck stop

To fill himself and a thermos up with coffee


Onward the drive went

In a Ford F150

Tape cassettes lined up

Like rows of musical chairs

for the trek:

Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis, a little Elvis thrown in for good measure

The thermos

At the ready


Age 70–

Cigarette in hand

His life-long pal

His ultimate undoer–

Rolled death

That rolled with him

As the tires rolled

Eating up highway

Like a

Ravenous revenge

For the passing of time

Each puff a minute of life 


He would drive across oven-like deserts of Arizona and California

Prairies of Oklahoma and Texas

Under the double rainbows of New Mexico

Across the swamps of Louisiana

And the Mississippi deltas

Through the forests and frost of the Alleghenies


He would drive

Outrunning the 

cancer that insidiously worked

Its way to the center of his being


He would drive,

Because in the end

That is all we can do:

Life is about movement



Press forward

Rack up the miles

Anything less

Is a silent inertia

And a hastening of the inevitable

1995 Ford F 150 Source:



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