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May 2019
he saw razor wire atop perimeter walls
guards on walkways with rifles ready
“what have I gotten myself into”

early, early
driving out to the high desert
pulling over to check a map
I saw Easter sunrise in the Mojave
the rising dawn bending light’s spectrum
its pink brightness silhouetting
clumps of dark green sage brush
casting long spidery purple shadows
between streaks of golden light
as morning’******broke mountain’s peak

continuing on
I spied something moving in the distance
within a shroud of clouds
that was blanketing the ascending road
way high up ahead
tiny white angel wings came to mind
thought perhaps I was hallucinating
entertained the idea that I had crashed
and was going to heaven
as I got closer
driving through the warm mists
that strange movement proved to be
mundane yet fascinating
I’d never seen wind turbines before

I had never been to Tehachapi
got lost in the winding upper mountains
my friend told me to turn on valley road
but there was Bear Valley Road
Apple Valley Road
other valley roads
had to circle and back track through the greenery
but found my way

when I finally got to the prison
there was a long queue of cars
I passed them up to see what was happening
then drove back and got in line
a lot of visitors that day
to celebrate Easter in incarceration
but I was here for a pick up
I signed in and a guard called my name
Donnie came out
processed and ready
we shook hands and the guard let us leave
after I signed a release form

Don was always the get-away-driver
so as soon as we were away
from warden’s watchful eyes
I let him take the wheel
forgot to inquire if he had a valid license
he threw his gate money at me to hold
said, “that’s how much I trust you”
“I’d never let anyone else handle my money”

back downhill
driving through the desert
he heard a helicopter above
“they’re being VERY cool right now”
as he kept it at 70

approaching San Diego
we decided to take the scenic route
through the canyons
a treat for this city-boy
ascending once again on a lone highway
into dusky mountains

greenest hillsides were covered
with giant granite boulders
of all shapes and sizes
intelligently strewn in primordial design
an ancient herd of petrified buffaloes
frozen in time
foreshadowing the stampede of clumpy clouds
rampaging above in crisp cerulean

we happened upon a tickling town
people in period costumes
riding horse drawn coaches and carriages
selling jars of jams and jellies
too bad we didn’t stop and get out

back on the freeway
approaching the city
a cop car pulled up behind us
right up on my bumper
a uniform with a brown brim hat
probably a state trooper
intimidation tactics
hoping we would make a run for it
probably alerted to BOLO
for my friend
we froze at first
looking straight ahead
then I remembered to act natural
started talking to calm Don down
started pointing out the sights
along the freeway like a tourist
the cop gave up and backed off
I wondered if he thought
‘that must not be him’
or
‘these guys are good’
I’m sure he ran my license plate

I brought my friend home
met his mother and sister
bought some gas
(you don’t have to pay first)
and made the two hour drive home
just another day
in my boring life
©04/01/2019
Written by
Del Maximo
440
 
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