Out of Dodge, 52 South to La Crescent

There are pieces to account for
while getting out of Dodge,
on a Friday eve, away from the city—
on the mind of those,

sat in an aged black truck on edgy burnt-out energy;
a person can purchase a mass of pink-violet
spectacle taking over western skies,

glorious sunset in tired eyes,
painting cloaked-clouds,
heavy dark, invoking peering pupils.

That giant burning orb,
light-years away,
is sinking into a foreland field,

browned is a Minnesota plain’s silhouette to come,
spotted with tail-lights
and oncoming forgotten brights;

before cars snaked out of the city
on veined webs of pavement,
onto highway 35,

which roller-coastered up and down,
thru and around,

wheels traversed crude potholes
and bad drivers—ones inciting rage,
to 52 South, to less ego.

And in the cockpit:
a cracked window,
a rear-view gaze,
changing bootlegged CDs,
and easy conversation.

The journey goes:
follow the lines to-,
follow the lights to-,
follow the signs to-,

each less visible moment passing,
each shadowed monument dusted;
stop here, stop there, no stops at all…
Make time.
Make tracks.
Make it back.

under shrouded moon above,
each sparsely laden gas station,
each pre-ghost town affixed—

to Rochester, by Rushford,
past Winona and Houston,
fast 73mph, thru Nodine—

establishments wax a dimly lit yellow,
down a long hill stretch to 14 61,

along hulks of vibrant-by-day bluffs,
past looming Lock and Dam No 7,

along the sounding Mississippi,
waters show streetlamps caught in the flow, luminescent,

and we go into town,
La Crescent, past the Hub
to Apple Village Liquors,
then to home.

There,
a warm room,
my smiling family,
and hugs await.

Pieces of what’s become
getting out of Dodge.

***

A good aspect of the city
can be getting out of it.

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