Highway Blues

I hear the highway calling, but I will not catch a ride;
Where I’m bound and where roads lead never seem to coincide.
For interstates link places that are pretty much the same,
and each draw certain travelers, like moths drawn to a flame.

The maze of concrete that connects these places on a map
(A strange device that makes you think the world fits in your lap)
Can make your journey quicker, but that’s never been my quest;
For me, often the detour is the route I like the best.

Besides on those big four lane stretches cut across the land
It takes a certain frame of mind and quite a steady hand
To keep oneself alert while in a sedentary state;
And too, each traveler is required to keep a certain rate.

That doesn’t suit my motives, nor my wishing to explore
but gets me to and fro again, and really nothing more.
For me there is no timeline to discover where I’m bound,
And direct routes are typically not where it can be found.

I much prefer the rural route, where no dividing line
splits up the coming and the going – that path suits me fine.
If I must take the big roads, then I feel my fate is set;
Besides, often my turnoffs don’t have lighted exits yet.

The open road calls when you’re young, when you can travel light
And live on junk food, drive on fumes and stay up half the night.
But as you pass through town and city, each place starts to blend
into the next, and soon you long for that strange journey’s end.

I’ve crossed this country now four times, and each trip made it clear
That there’s no difference where you go, your past is in the mirror;
By truck or car or motorbike, weighed down or flying free,
It’s not the road that moves you on to where you want to be.

I’ve heard it said that all roads led to Rome – a source of pride;
But once arrived in that fair city, you must then decide:
Can one place be the final stop? Of this, I have some doubt;
For every avenue that comes in also leads back out.

24 AUG 2003

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