Unfamiliar Highway

I wrote the following poem earlier this summer after driving down a stretch of unfamiliar highway on a very dark and rainy night.  Today at dVerse, Gabriella has asked us to write Travel Poetry.  Although this poem was not written for dVerse originally, I thought it fit the bill.

~~

unfamiliar highway
on a pitch black night
with lines painted so long ago
that only their ghosts remain

my kids, asleep in the back
my wife beside me, and
a steady drizzle are
my companions on this journey

as I listen to the hypnotic
thwick thwack, thwick thwack
of the windshield wipers,
and as I try to stay in my lane
as headlights and rain-swirl
from oncoming traffic
leave me all but blind,
my knuckles turn white from
gripping the steering wheel

the worst part is the not knowing:
will a moose or a deer
suddenly step out in front of us?
will the blinding lights of the next car
cause me to go off the highway?
how much further ’til we reach
the end of the road?

we go around a bend in the highway and…
city lights appear on this side of the horizon
and I know…
we’re almost there.

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18 thoughts on “Unfamiliar Highway

  1. MANY of us have lived through this ordeal, Bryan, but your poem captures all of it masterfully; this poem does fit the prompt well for sure.

  2. You have captured just what it is like, Bryan. I hate driving at night anyway, but with rain pouring down it is a nightmare. I was white knuckling the drive right along with you and could feel your relief at the end.

  3. Driving in the rain is awful, driving in both the dark and the rain with children in the back is indeed a nightmare. The tension is very palpable and is bound to evoke memories to many drivers. We are glad to be finally home with you. A great poem, Bryan!

  4. I’ve been there AND I’ve almost nodded off to sleep a few times. I’ve learned to drive no more than six hours a day. And it IS a relief to finally get to the destination.

  5. This is what it means to be a modern day weary traveler. Well written- the horror fan in me was hoping for a shadowy figure to flit across the road, but the mom in me is happy that you made your destination safely. Very enjoyable read, Bryan!.

    -heidi-

  6. I hate night travels and avoid it specially when the weather is not good ~ You have captured the fear & relief that most of us go through the unfamiliar roads ~

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