BAD MOTELS – BAD POETRY September 1978

Crossing the country I mostly slept in speeding cars
Huddled against the door
Hoping the driver wasn’t a murderer.
Or that his destination lay beyond the dawn.
Sometimes the ride ended nowhere a few hours after midnight.
Out in the Nevada desert wthout a motel in sight.
I stood on the highway
The crunch of sand beneath my boots,
And overhead stars, so far from the sea, cities, and even towns.
The exit road bled off into darkness.
Not a single light from horizon to horizon
AndI was happy to cast a shadow in the headlights
Of trucks heading to Butte, Reno, or Amarillo
Until I met you
A city woman
Asking a drifter to settle down
And all drifters dream of a soft bed
Scented of flowers and perfume.
To lay close under sheets listening to Joni Mitchell and
Whispering, “I will not leave.”
She smiles and says, “All drifters drift.”
“Only I’m drifting to you.”
Happy to be off the road.

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