There's a Route 22 near you.
A licorice asphalt road,
Twisting as opposing currents of time,
With anticipation and apprehension,
From home, to unknowns,
From comfort to expectations.
A rural ribbon of signage,
I traveled mine yesterday,
In an overdue Spring day,
From Melrose to Bright's Grove.
I writhe and bend with its winding,
Former times arise like heat waves;
Mirage puddles flood my head,
Always just out of reach.
I recalled hitchhiking through Warwick,
As I backtrack,
And almost stop
For one todayy on the curve
Where they sell the garden gnomes.
I once looked wryly at them
When I stood across the road,
With thumb up.
Sprawling upright over the northern landscape,
Towards the Co-ops of Arkona,
And the beer store in Thedford,
Wind farms thrive like techno giants,
In someone's Utopian world.
Bloody Mary's red sign no longer hangs
Outside the white house in Lobo,
Where she could bring you into touch
With your dead.
Poplar Hill's trees no longer snow in the summer,
The water wheels are seized, barns are exposed.
The lofts and the lofty fallen.
I had to stop near a culvert, to listen to the sound of run-off,
The melt reflecting the transition under the sun,
Converging at Black Creek, Pulse Creek, or Cow Creek,
Carrying forward to the St. Clair River and Lake Huron,
Then on to foreign shores.
Weathered iron fences enclose pioneer graves;
Settlers who cleared the dense Lambton forests,
And made the first ruts along my route
With wagons and cabbages.
I know very well how you fared,
And I thank you for my journey.
Warwick: In Canada, we pronounce the second "w".