Monday, May 16, 2011

Riding in the Passenger Seat

we were driving to see a covered bridge
in Moscow, Indiana, a rural configuration
that can barely be called a town.

it's hot and humid, salty drops
on our foreheads, so we're slurping
down sweet tea made with filtered

water, just as we take in
the fields and the big sky,
unmarred by hills or mountains,

textured by the low soybean fields
and the tall corn, the gold inside,
brandishing our cameras, so it's obvious

we aren't locals, a California infusion
to the local economy, because long ago
my parents substituted that home

for this one, when it occurs to me
that these farmers do not just eke
out a living, that life is all around.

sure, there was the wooden house,
abandoned, imploding in geologic time,
the bricks of the chimney the only

straight lines to be seen, but that
was the exception rather than the rule,
when my uncle brings the car

to a stop, and we're at the bridge.

* * * * *

This poem was written in response to Wordle 4 at a wordling whirl of Sundays. Thanks again to Brenda for hosting this wonderful site.


  1. Nice imagery in this piece, Richard.


  2. A good the journey towards recess..

  3. Richard, Observation is key. You capture the passenger's journey. I'm such a passenger, can't stand driving. Your piece illuminates one of my reasons. Look at all that life out there!

  4. I could have sworn I left a comment on this! Excellent way to hide the wordle words. I have a complete picture in my head of your journey. It reminded me of a completely-out-of-character book by John Grisham, called The Painted House.

  5. Pamela, thanks.

    Ollie, it was a good journey.

    Brenda, I almost always have to drive, so I'm rarely in the passenger seat. This was one of those times.

    Viv, thank you. I'm glad you could visualize the whole thing. (You did leave me a comment on the mirrored WordPress version of this blog).


  6. This does a very nice job of conveying that sense of being lost in a landscape. I have those moments all the time, where time seems to disappear as I'm ruminating on some scene. And I appreciate the small details you've shared with us.

  7. Francis, with two small children I rarely get those moments, so this one stuck in my head. I find including the wordle words is good practice for me because it seems to call for those small details. Thanks for your kind and thoughtful comment.


  8. To me, this poem conveys that there is so much to be seen enroute that the destination becomes secondary to the ride. I have been on journeys like that!

  9. Mary, I agree. The journey is more important than the destination. I have to try to keep that in mind more often.