The Roads Behind (A Highway Town)


Thank you to the roads behind me for sending me on my way. I come from a highway town of transient folk. Its shops are family owned, passed down from generations through time. The streets are still that of brick, and masonry remains a known trade of the town. At the center of the borough, where the main boulevard and railroad intersect, sits an old, derailed red caboose that houses the town’s historical archives. Flipping through documents wrapped in cellophane, memorizing faces of the once-young printed in sepia, my hometown’s past was constantly in the foreground of my developing conscience. I attended preschool at the old Presbyterian church, raised from the ground by vagabonds of old Ireland, where I committed to memory the mantras that hold me up to this day. As an Irishman, my father took great pride in those teachings, though I think God was far from his mind. He was introduced to this small town by my mother, who was born and raised at the foot of its freeway. My father did not stay long, for he had his own priorities that drove him to take advantage of that endless road. In my life, I’ve watched many people come and go by this highway. No one stays unless it’s in their blood. My hometown has made me aware of this duality, a longing for more than creature comforts coupled with a growing need for stability. Why did it have to take me all this time to understand that “stability” and “home” aren’t places? No matter where you go, home is the love you fall back on at the end of the day.


It Is What It Is

I tuck and loft in bed at night, hoping for some reprieve.

A diagnostic counterfeit only made for human need.

Need and neglect. Time better spent writing out my past problems,

Instead I brood in solitude where I’ll let anxiety wallow.


Witness to all shortcomings and flaws, I master the art of deception,

But things stick out, like the quell in my snout when confronted with the slightest aggression,

Or the twist in my spine that curves to the side that I’ve had since I was born,

Or how my shoulder bends in, like my maker pulled the pin from my already assembled arm.


The By-and-By handed me down with mistakes sewn in my blood.

It is what it is, but without these ticks, I would have never know who I was.