Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The day before Thanksgiving
always reminds me
of our family tradition
that existed
for many years.

I would always work
at the Sheriff's Office
until around five
on the Wednesday
before Thanksgiving.

I would go home
and load the family
into the car
and head east
toward Iowa
and my home in Rockwell City.

On a good day
it would take
twelve hours
to drive
which meant that,
after being up all day,
I would,
without benefit
of any sleep,
drive the 750 miles
to Iowa
to enjoy
Thanksgiving dinner
with my parents
and my sister.

The two things
that I remember
most clearly
is the hundreds
of other cars
from Colorado
on the highway
heading east
at the very same time.

It was an exodus
from Colorado
to Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois
and then back again on Sunday.

The other thing
was that terrible time
right before sunrise
when I would fall asleep
driving off the side
of Interstate 80
somewhere near
Lincoln, Nebraska.

How foolish I was
in my youth.

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