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.