I've walked them all, the roads,
The paths, walking as they call out,
"Here! Here I am!"
And the twists and turns from civility
To the brash encounters
That leave you breathless
And thinking. I've walked them all.
The journey leads you to new
Thoughts and actions, people,
Dogs, the dogs are my favorite.
They teach me to look with my ears,
My nose, then my eyes.
"Here!" they bark. "Here I am!"
Tails wag and we part, friends.
The cities bustle and blend themselves
Into mirrors of bright reflection
Of the life below the windows.
The buses roar like dragons
Belching out smoke, foul odors,
And the bystanders standing
On the curb shout, "Here! Here I am!"
The bus lurches to a stop.
"Here! Here I am. Now board and
Use the windows to see what you miss
When you don't walk."
It snarls, winds its engine and dreams
Of standing still in the tumultuous wind
And listening to the roar.
I stand alone on the bus stop,
Indecisively making a decision
To walk down the treed streets.
Strong armed trees holding the last leaves
Of fall. Autumn calls out,
"Here you are. Look at me."
And the beauty makes me weep.
I am the bystander, taking the road.
Calling my children to let them know
To look on a map and see me.
"Here! Here I am!" But invisible,
They see only the marker of
Where I have been. I can call,
"Here! Here am I! See me!" They don't.
I have a secret. A wood's walk,
Where the king of the forest
Strode into my path.
"Make way. Make way. This is my path,
My road. Here I am."
And I see him, towering over me.
I answer, "I am here, too."
Rainbows at sunset, roads to follow.
Lined with flowers, cars and noise,
In capitols, in the wild, in back,
The alleyways, the secret ways,
How do we know where to tread lightly?
When should our feet pound the pavement
And fight the oppression that takes
The middle class and the poor from us?
We celebrate the shiny, fountain sprinkling
Water that gives us a drink of hope,
Then take our place, eyes down
Shuffling along as we try to
Keep the noise down so the neighbors
Don't complain. Is this the road of
The future? I step outside and look up
At the soaring bald eagles who were once
Endangered. Their flyways are now healthier.
Our roadways should be healthier, broader,
Wiser, a step firm with resolve, a hand
On the wheel, a place to arrive at.