Two For the Road

Because we raced together, in climes both bright and gray,

Often finding pleasure, embracing pain that way,

We never thought it curious, as the distance fell hard afoot,

Why words were so superfluous, in telling a truth that put,

Meaning to that effort, or cause to announce as such,

The act was all we needed, any more would’ve been too much.


For it was all there in the motion, simple, stripped, and bare,

“Do this,” we thought, in tandem, “and the rest we could forswear.”

For the mantra of our breathing, the rhythm of our pace,

Gave lyric enough in cadence, to ruddy out our face,

‘Twas the simplicity of our purpose, the goal almost epicene,

To surmount the lower regions, to extend away from the mean,


As no longer men or women, neither sinners nor were we saints,

We’d entered through the looking glass, beyond our form’s constraints,

Where exertion in kind for distance, brought horizons to our eyes,

Like the couple in the garden, ‘fore the serpent told his lies.


When all was still before us, and the skies so clear and clean,

That simple hope and virtue, could each, and both, be seen.

And yearning held its promise, that as youth we still regard,

As possible in the offing, that with age we tend discard.


Still, toward them we rushed in unison, eliciting with half-uttered sighs,

The concord in our choices, this redemption for our lives.

As we hoped to render through effort, some measure that lent control,

As if an ancient act or runic curse, could offset the relentless toll,


Of that staggering destination, that time that we all decry,

What Whitman called “wholesome relief, repose, content”,

Yes, the tender by and by.


When all would come to rest, at last, mortal coil free,

When the heavens welcome us home again, Stardust, you and me.


Thus no counterfeit joy deceived us, we knew there was a price to pay,

Yet with value in the recompense, we settled our debt each day.

Often with an interest earned, when our breathing so aligned,

Heartbeats overlapping, yours, my friend, and mine.


Oh, these journeys are rarely filled, it’s true,

whether over land or atop the roads,

With paths without encumbrances, that giants once bestrode.

Where vision is often clouded, as blood is shunted through,

To solipsistic purposes, which blind or obscure what’s true.


But there’s no shame is in thus exposing, the limits we each revealed,

There were larger forces working, that helped let down our shields.

And reward and consolation, though appearing, at times, at odds,

Emerged in the final counting, but whimsies of the gods.


Yes, there are other ways of exploring,

of reaching that ‘mortally intolerable truth’,

That while age may bear some wisdom,

our capacity’s in our youth.


Thus, what I know is that along that border,

Where time and miles convened,

We’d discovered a leveling universe, that allowed us both to glean,

That because we raced together, in climes both bright and gray,

We’d cut a path that made us laugh, as we held the old reaper at bay.



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