When Frenchie met the hefty dinosaur,
he hoped the beast was not a fan of frog,
instead he wanted friendship, a rapport,
for loneliness had settled like a fog,
still missing Pete and Moss from his old bog.
He'd never seen a dinosaur 'til now
so mustered all the courage he'd allow,
a mighty leap, up to its line of sight,
revealed a friendly gaze below its brow.
The creature smiled, much to the frog's delight.
I loved my muddy Slip'n Slide
when I was but a grungy kid,
ambitions never satisfied
until my mom would hence forbid
my setting foot inside the door.
My friends and I would slide until
you couldn't fathom who was who,
our clothing drenched in turbid swill,
green lawn became a viscous slough
that wasn't grassy anymore.
In summer when the rain's lukewarm,
with sewers threatening to flood,
I long to chase the surging storm,
and search for sidewalks filled with mud,
to slip 'n slide like years before.
Faster, the rider willed,
the rushing air not yet in
Faster, he spoke aloud,
the mail won't deliver
Faster, the cheat grass blew,
leaning, pointed to the east,
Faster still, into the dusk,
the coming change of horses,
Faster, nearly finished,
can't break off to rest,
Stop! He has arrived,
the next rider grabs the bag
and is off...
The "Route 66" sign, though weathered and bent,
attracted adventure, a side-trip to take.
Beginning in Texas I started descent,
I drove through New Mexico, tired, but awake.
In one of the miles between hovels and towns,
with nothing but desert and tumbleweed brush,
I stopped at the rest stop and noticed that sounds
were missing, a breathtaking hush.
When "resting" was finished I made the next sprint
to hot Arizona, sun racing me west,
and then California, eyes fighting their squint,
I made it to Baker with mounting distress.
Beyond an old trestle on the 66 trail
was nourishment, boarding, a pleasant motel,
with palm trees and neon, a fence of split rail,
as daylight was fading, and what is that smell?
I followed the scent of a kitchen retreat,
a menu that offered a barbeque meal,
and soon I was full, but my quest incomplete,
I rented a suite for its rate was a steal.
The Royal Hawaiian lived up to its name,
or maybe fatigue had enamored my view.
The lounge of bamboo and a tiki torch flame
were the last things I saw as I finished my brew.
I woke at first light with a head-pounding pain,
and hoped I had made it to bed on my own.
I crawled in my car and continued on Main,
but still 66, as the signage had shown.
By noon I would stand on a Hollywood star,
a Walk of Fame placard inlaid with its gold.
The hundreds of miles with a whim and a car,
the account of my drive would be often retold.
Jack has published over 350 poems in his career, many with his own photography. He specializes in a view of the commonplace and Americana.