–and maybe some of us are–
“watch your wallets and hide your daughters.”
They know the men by their muddy work boots
and eternal sunburns, by eyes lined
too deeply and too young
from squinting into the sun twelve hours a day.
They know the women by the big pickup trucks
we drive, too large for our frames, but just right for
pulling a small house down the interstate every few weeks.
We leave the powerful diesel engines running
when we stop at the bank or for a carton of cigarettes
or gallon of milk.
Even though this is all pretend,
even though I am wearing a costume and
playing a part,
even though I’m not really here,
I want this. This life.
The freedom of space, of a movable place
to call home.
I want this life I walked away from
so long ago.
They say you can never go back and
I never thought I wanted to, but
is it going back if it’s on my own terms,
I’ve always enjoyed being an outsider and
am rarely at home in the spaces I inhabit,
but I am at home here, without a home,
in this mobile life of everywhere and nowhere,
where the view from your front door
changes overnight and your little piece
of the sky follows you down the highway
with every change of address.
The open road has been calling me
my whole life, but I wouldn’t answer,
afraid of what would happen if I listened
and let go, but now I have my map and my compass,
I can read the signs in the sky and in my heart.
If every road leads me back to where I want to be,
why don’t I just get in the car?