POETICS: Rhythm of the road – Terms End


It’s a regular occurrence

Terms end

Load the car

Head north.

Into the night we drive

Hoping kids will sleep

Counting landmarks

Relief as I see emerging

The lights of the city

But still hours to go.

A child cries, time to stop

Toilet for all, a drink, a rest

Point the car, drive.

Into darkness following a dotted line

Leading to family, rest, recreation.

A man on the radio discusses religion

Inviting other late night crazies

A welcome distraction

Each caller an important opinion

Stressing their point to the few caring to listen.

Later the traffic thins

I am the only one awake

Everyone sleeps, curled up

In dreams of Christmas and birthdays.

The miles go by, stay awake I urge

There is a lot at stake, not far now.

Mileposts flash by, trees stand sentinel

Like a guard of honour watching

Guiding me home.

I will worry should they move.

Past midnight, the home stretch

Familiar tracks, lights on roadhouses

Sheltering the weary, the insomniacs,

As I journey on, my goal in sight

‘Are we there yet?’ A pleading eight year old.

‘Nearly sweetie, not far now.’

My music floods me, a favourite song

My mind comes alive, I sing along

Casting memory to other times

Times when I felt free, alive

Now my life is prescribed,

Fatherhood dictates behaviours

Children demand attention, needs and wants

Far beyond my own, my life not my own

But dedicated to them, their safety

Their lives taking shape, their dreams.

My time will come I know, some day

At the far end of another road

My deserving end will arrive.

I will take that road, willingly,

My time served, then to enjoy the spoils

Of a promised life, my own.

A light shines in my eyes, reality sinks in

A few more bends and then a turn right.

Kids stirring, Nanna’s is in sight,

I turn the corner, see my mum,

Standing on the veranda, waiting.

I sigh, relief, home again.


Written for: http://dversepoets.com/2014/04/22/rhythm-of-the-road/

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24 Responses to POETICS: Rhythm of the road – Terms End

  1. shanyns says:

    We just did this journey, with an 8 year old too, and oh yes to see their faces when you get ‘home’ again is worth the miles isn’t it? Thanks for sharing.

  2. JackieP says:

    Ah, reminds me of road trips with my family every summer going up north to stay in a cabin in the woods. Wonderful memories Michael.

  3. Lovely journey, reminding me of trips and “Are we there yet?” but the most touching are the last 4 lines. Very nice, MIchael.

  4. Remembering those family trips always longer than returning home. Thought I was actually riding along.

  5. RoSy says:

    Awww…Love this!

  6. Your poem definitely brings memories of road trips with my parents when I was a child. I like your verse: Into darkness following a dotted line … smiles…

  7. The nightly rides with children… catering for their need at the same time an independence of the wheels and the radio.. lots of good thing to say about your poem… 🙂

  8. Tiny says:

    Lovely journey! We’ve all travelled that road, and a few of us have reached the time of our own 🙂

  9. Bryan Ens says:

    As much as I enjoy a road trip, a warm welcome at the end is always a wonderful thing!

  10. The sometimes tedium of the road is so worth reaching the destination. And the challenge of traveling with kids. Yikes.

  11. brian miller says:

    are we there yet? ha i heard that a few times…and i have listened to some of those late night crazy radio shows as well, travelling through the night to avoid traffic

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