A Journey

Early I awoke, that I may depart
Early as well, to do my work and
Then set out for home.
The storm (which had been forecast
for last night) greeted me,
Grey through blinds where I expected sun.
Loudly falling on the panes and roof.

All the better, I thought,
for the hard rain to finish while I were indoors.
At least my travel west would not be slowed.
As planned, I dressed and left
and, soaked from a mere moment outside,
Tried the office door to find it sealed.
The front room empty, I called it a day
As I ran back to the car.

One brief errand
Through drowned city streets
was nearly one too many.
The potholes hid underwater,
clutching to themselves pools
of grimy rain. Slippery asphalt
and flooded turn lanes
Made me all the more eager to leave.

No reason to change into comfortable clothes –
they would have been drenched in seconds.
I gathered some things into my pack,
then one more run through the falling sky
splashing back to the car before setting out.

The sky remained grey… not dangerous black.
Nonetheless, the rain came
in rotating periods of hard, and harder.

The highway only made things worse,
heavy drops seemed heavier
to travelers moving more rapidly.

I moved slowly, in no hurry
so vital as to find myself wrecked.
Passerby on the left slipped suddenly into
and back out of visibility
as they hurried off towards destinations
so important they were worth the risk
of other travelers’ lives.
Were it not for the scarlet spots of light pressing on ahead of me,
the clouds would have blended seamlessly with the road

When the storm slowed I felt relief,
glad to see clearly
even if the sky was still dark
and my path still hazardous.

Then it struck again,
angry I had praised its departure,
with faster and thicker drops than
I had seen in months – a feat, in the Midwest.
Wipers became stripes of black on a field of grey.

Still fools rushed past,
weaving in and out of traffic
Blink -blink -blink -blink
with their flashers on…
Watch -out -I -suck
I kept right and exited as soon as pavement allowed,
made an unplanned visit to lovely West Jefferson.
Filled at a station where fuel was cheap,
turned back and made for I-70 again

Thrice more the rain struck hard
Once just before my escape from the highway
Twice passing through small towns
And each time it was annoying
but never it did me harm.
By noon, something that resembled sunlight
made its way to my eyes.
By noon, home safe at last.

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