16 March 2011

the possibility of belonging

"Route 66 Museum—Exit Now"
and so we do.
Off the rainy interstate that was once
part of Route 66
{Get your kicks on}
but now
it has no rhyming slogan, no
jazzy tune and
looks like every other interstate in America:

a concrete slab
an industrialized yellow brick road
zipping us away from where we belong
at 65mph, cars and people
propelled so fast to the Next Place
hardly seeing where we are
right now,
I step from the car
into the rain.

For once in this almost-spring of March,
it's raining, not snowing.
Spring drops on my head
I drink spring by the gulpful as I
step into the truck stop,
which is full of people who do not belong.

We are all neither here nor there.
We are the In Betweens
but the flickering fluorescent light
gives us a flat pallor
of same togetherness.

For just a moment,
we all belong here:

to the restaurant serving country fried steak
with a side of being called sweetheart by a waitress we've never met
to the aisles of candy bars and saturated fat we know we shouldn't have
to the lottery tickets and to the oversweet coffee.

The Route 66 Museum turns out to be a hallway.
Pictures and maps, framed cheaply
and hung crookedly, some of them.

In one of them, a woman wears a pillbox hat
holds a Coke
leans on a car with fins and chrome
stares at the cars blurring past on the road.

I want to say to her,

"Isn't it something that you were once here
and now I am?
That once, for just a moment,
you belonged here, too?"

And when you get right down to it,
the possibility of belonging anywhere
for just a moment or
for a life
is something.

It sure is, sweetheart.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails