Monday, February 20, 2017

My Malady begins with a "W"

I am suffering from spring fever. We have been oh so blessed with temperatures in the high 60's to mid 70's for the past week, and it is supposed to last all the way into this weekend. Daffodils are blooming, way too soon. I understand their urge.

I feel compelled to go, do, hike, run, and skip through my days, even the rainy ones. Warm weather makes me giddy.

This was published in Sacred Fools Press a few years ago. Someone asked me if the communal bed referred to incest. Not at all. We were poor and we shared the "bed" when we traveled. When Dad tossed a mattress into the bed of his panel truck, I knew we were going on a trip.

These days we travel in comfort and stay in motels.


Spring intoxicates me with memories of a bygone era
when every day was a childish adventure for Dad,
and he ran with wanderlust
when the winds spoke to his Native American soul.
I was along for the ride.

Snake-like Route 66 hummed under my body.
In the back of Dad’s old panel truck 
I lay on bare, blue and white ticking,
mattress buttons and little brother
poking my bony ribs.

Tallied white lines and Guernsey’s 
grazing in pastures as we headed
nowhere, somewhere, anywhere
Dad’s rambling soul would take us.

With a dollar in his pocket and a dream in his heart,
the four winds tugged him hither and yon,
cast us into unknown towns where temporary day jobs, thrift stores
and restrooms with cold water sinks provided vacation basics.

Dad didn’t have a dollar to spare
or a dime’s worth of sense.
We lodged on the run;
my mattress a communal bed.

Mom wrapped herself in a comma
Around Dad’s exclamation point limbs.
I snuggled in a fetal question mark,
My brother scrunched in a period at my feet.

Nowadays, when cherry blossoms blanket the ground, 
Old Route 66 wraps me up in asphalt arms
snakes me down winding roads that lead to long ago.
I feel the hum and I must


Sioux said...

Oh. I thought the "W" stood for William. My bad.

I love your poem, and can see why it was published. I hope that someday soon you can do some traveling to satisfy that hunger for wandering...

Susan Sundwall said...

I'm still in winter mode - prefer it to summer actually. But I'll be thinking spring soon and traveling! Great poem.

Mary Menke said...

Great poem inspired by great memories, Linda! May I ask why you chose poetry to tell this story?

Bookie said...

Great poem and I love the 66 images...didn't that road take us all to the horizon and back? Almost time for road trips again...hope I can take some too.

Bobby Barbara Smith said...

Love it! What amazing memories! I'm suffering from "W" also. I have the urge to plant, dig in the dirt or take a road trip without a map. I'd soon be missing the comforts of home, but my keeps wandering.

K9friend said...

I feel like we're having our own little vacation right here at home. Days of seventy degree weather in February! Is it a dream?


Karen Lange said...

Spring is trying hard to make an appearance here too, but I think it'll be a bit before it's here to stay. Enjoying it while we can! :)

Val said...

Yes, it's good weather to hit the road. Or barbecue. Which we did yesterday.

Connie said...

I love this! You turned a wonderful memory into a fantastic poem.