Traveling those blue highways those rural routes
of back roads, of byways weaving through
small town USA where life thrives in a
slow way if it thrives at all
With empty old shops surrounding
the local hardware and there’s
a café and gas station at the corner
Rosey’s Cafe printed across the window
neon light blinking “OPEN” calling me
come on in for lunch, not to forget that
breakfast is served all day everyday
Breakfast it is with the proper amount of grease
and grits, thick bacon and that toast
that is square, fat and slathered with butter
with a side of homemade strawberry jam.
Across the street, a thrift store with antiques
a passion for me, a junker’s paradise, a road
tripping pirated looking for bounty.
These shops can be hoarder full,
barely able to walk through
with mountains of rummage collected
hangered and stacked with some order that
defies the meaning of what order is
Somebody’s grandparent’s ancient old shit
an estate of family collectables unwanted
heirlooms broken to be fixed in the never will be
Generation of not letting go, now needing it to go.
Families don’t know what to do with what’s
left after the scramble and pawing through it
dumped now in these shops in the hope that
making a few dollars off of someone’s forgotten
treasure is for a ’picker’ something to celebrate.
Not enough people pass through these
off-the-main-drag small rural communities
to buy the leftovers of old dead people
long gone with outdated uselessness
only worth the rummage to a true junker
A pirate of the byways seeking treasure
I hear the call. I stop for the joy in the hunt
following a garage sale sign
in the middle of Midwest nowhere
passing alfalfa fields with poor farmers eking
a living with a few cows and chickens and a big
gardening full of vegetables and flowers for some
local prosperity to keep the living pulse Ok enough
This sign aiming me onto a damn dirt road
where the grass grows down the center of it
and the rain puddle too deep I have to turn around
Should have turned left at that last cross-road
Should have let the grass be a sure sign of nowhere.
I should on myself yet again, only to arrive at
the best garage sale ever smelling the methane in the air
It’s good to know yourself as a compass traveling this way
or at least how to follow the sun cause that’s maybe
what you need to follow unless you decide
that sooner of later you’ll hit a main road
if you go far enough in one direction or another
That’s iffy and then again. hell you’re on a road trip
taking the blue highways where ever looking for stuff
stopping when you like, sleeping at JoJo’s motel
just on the edge of that town you passed through
a few miles back deciding it was time to make it a day.
Turning around cause you’re pretty sure there’s not
much you’ll come across any time soon on C32
Sitting at the café’ counter connected to JoJo’s,
my appetite worked up for all the seeking of treasure
and the miles of driving and stopping
ordering the meatloaf with mash potatoes, gravy
and boiled carrots with maple butter dripping on them
striking up a conversation with a woman named Peggy
with her over bleached permed hair, too tight jeans,
a hot pink tank top showing every curve she wants you to linger on
She wonders why a woman like me, in my jeans,
my black peace sign tee shirt, rings on every finger
and my ratty old Birkenstocks that serve me well
is alone without a man on road trip like this
Isn’t that dangerous? Wasn’t I scared?
Why would I ever travel alone?
She couldn’t image it.
I ask her who does her hair.
jeanne adwani. @copyright