Tell me about jet rags.
Tell me about the vertical daggers
in the road all pointing north.
Tell me about Moon Pies & Cokes
you buy conveniently as you drive,
jokes men toss at you
through windows like soiled socks.
Say you are twenty:
you leave the house alone at dusk,
crank up the engine to sail sunset back
to your state now, Virginia, New York,
or Maryland--it makes all of the difference.
When you hit the road to Gretna
you change your mind:
you flip the switch,
cut cruise control, decide:
you´ll stay at the Greenwood,
Route 220, have some fried chicken,
some turnip greens and a cup or two of joe,
one to go so that you can slip into the night
& walk that deep hill to the place where the counties
split and the country roils and rambles
like a feverish dream.
That coffee will slosh
but that´s fine: all will be well,
all manner of thing shall be well
and you´ll wake earlier than the sun
and run down Route 606 as far as you can,
until you see a farmer pitching hay--
there will be new calves in the meadow,
corn in the crib.
You´ll know, somehow,
you´ll run that route
as long as it takes
to make the byways safe
for every mad dog, every hen.