07 August 2012

Road Trips and Deployment Poem

Basically what I looked at every day for four months.
Yay empty desert and camels. Picture found here
I love road trips. I love getting to see the country in between here and there, wherever I happen to be going at the time: the roads that twist and wind through the mountains, shaded and dark no matter what the time of day; the roads that stretch on forever, straight and flat and open; the highways with a billion lanes and cars driving at reckless speeds. I love it all, I really do. With music blaring I’ll sing along obnoxiously, not caring who sees me or what they think. I’ll be rocking my aviators, dancing in my car as I drive. Sometimes I’ll reach my destination only to realize I’ve lost my voice in the process because of all the singing…no one else can hear me—there’s no one to judge me—so I can sing as loud as I want.

There have been quite a few roadtrips in my rearview mirror over the past year or so. I drove from Virginia to New York and back multiple times, Virginia to Missouri and back twice, Missouri to Texas, and now Texas to Virginia. I’ve got another roadtrip around the corner, but this one I won’t be driving myself. The family is heading up to Pennsylvania for an annual summer reunion. It’s always a lot of fun, mainly because we eat and drink and laugh and watch Star Trek and ride horses and just have a riot out in rural (and when I say “rural,” I mean rural) Pennsylvania. It’s a blast. Then shortly after we return, I’ll have to start heading back to Texas. It’s a two-day trip, and I usually take a break with a friend who lives along the route.

It is, as always, good to be back in Virginia. Everything here is so green right now! The trees are definitely dressed in their summer finest. There’s been a lot of rain this year, which likely accounts for the intense greenness. Even the grass, which is usually a little brownish by August, is a bright emerald. I went for a run yesterday morning along my favorite running road—well shaded, not so well trafficked, and winding lazily next to a creek—and just couldn’t get over all the green. Perhaps it comes as such a shock of color after spending so long in the colorless desert. Speaking of, as promised, here’s a poem I wrote while deployed, titled simply “Hell.” Enjoy!

There’s something buried here.
There’s a vengeance; there’s a need,
buried underneath the sand
     and piles of debris.
It rumbles with the wind;
it clings to our clothes,
and if it rears its ugly head,
     this desert may explode.

There’s something buried here:
an ancient, angry grief
under pebble-crusted dunes,
     swallowed whole,
          buried deep.
It stirs the blood of Soldiers,
chills the wary to the bone,
infiltrates our dreams with thoughts
     of never going home.

There’s something buried here,
and that something wants us gone.
It says, “You never should have come,”
     but we’ve known that all along.

No comments:

Post a Comment