Poem: The Where

1

The Where

The old truck sits on the hill.
You have had it now for nearly a decade
and it was old then.
There are miles on it.
A couple hundred thousand of them
and counting.
The leather interior needs work,
but you let it alone. It is too late
in its life to redo the seats.

It has carried you far this old truck,
South and north and west and east,
sometimes full of someone’s belongings,
the veteran of a dozen moves, few of them yours.

When you drive it, you are reminded of your grandfather
and his faded red international pickup.
He kept that old pickup far long past its natural life
and I grew up in it each summer,
riding past the Surry County farms
on the way to town and the local swamps
where we fished.

Your old truck has the same feel when you drive it,
rough and strong, a bit heavy, slow
to accelerate, slow to brake, a carrier of things.
Each ride is like traveling with him again.

And so here you are, a bit like the old man
you love so much, keeping the old truck alive
a bit past its time.

Perhaps it is past its time of journeys.
That would be the safe thing.
Drive it around the farmland you now live among,
to town, and back, little further.
That would be good advice for you as well,
at your age.

But there has always been something a bit off
about you, a strange propensity to ignore seasons,
and create your own. And so it is that you ignore
age and time and all the normal benchmarks of life,
sometimes to your own detriment,
other times to adventure.

The truck stands on the hill, ready to go,
ailments, rattles and all. It has new tires.
It runs well enough for now. And that is enough
for now. It is
time to go.
The where doesn’t matter.
The going does.

About this poem

Strange how poetry evolves. This one came from a conversation my wife and I had this morning over coffee, a conversation that had nothing to do with trucks.

The picture is of my old Isuzu Trooper.

Be well. Travel wisely, or not. But travel.

Tom

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