A bright thought flies across my afternoon
fighting to stay aloft as my finger, on an old roadmap
traces a trip across the desert decades ago,
driving west in the early summer of our marriage.
We traveled by night in a compact car,
small dog panting in the backseat.
We fled scalding walls of heat toward
an ocean we could only picture.
Even trailer trucks behind us huffing across
the Rockies could not make us give way,
nor fog banks or detours we met full face;
challenged, we pressed north to the redwoods.
These things I knew: we were young and capable;
this was our America, our luck to belong here.
We were pursuing an instinct to find our edge,
look back at our innocence from a distance.
We saw rooms confining our aspirations,
doors to push open to a maze of choices.