scenic byway

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

If you’re in Grissom, NC, say, and want
to head home to Hillsborough
you can pass through Creedmoor

(likely retracing your steps)
and hop on 85, which takes you
west-southwest to Exit 164; or,

if you’re like me, a wild fool,
you can travel a more northerly
route that begins by circumnavigating

Falls Lake through Butner, where
the Federal Correctional Complex
devoted to healing sex offenders lies

long and low among cedars and pines,
and head west on Old Oxford
to Stagville Rd. and, after the Loblolly

turnoff, hang a left on Orange Factory—
or, honestly, continue on Stagville
into Bahama, then double back

on Quail Roost—either way
you’ll cross Flat River at the Waterfowl
Impoundment and end up on Mason,

which eventually becomes St. Marys
and takes you through a series
of 250-year-old farms and homesteads,

wending as you go and, if you’re
like me, with the windows down,
finding centuries of agricultural sweetness

mingled with the sharp arrogance
of chicken shit to be something
akin to a drug, Leo Kottke’s 12-string

ramblings rolling on the car radio,
just getting to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”
as you rumble across gravel and pull

the parking brake you’ll find yourself alive
and having lost no time you couldn’t have
done without had you hopped on 85.

• • • 


2 Responses to “scenic byway”

  1. Edward Nudelman Says:

    Love this poem. Kotke rocks, as well, and
    must have aided, as you recollected
    and assembled and teased the poem
    from experience.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Edward Nudelman Says:

    By the way, I play me a tolerable Kotke
    on the ol’ geetar

    Sent from my iPhone


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