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DELAMAR WEB
Bill
Short Nonfiction: Memoir
The Road Back

il: skycross     I took the road south on #301 - less traffic that way - and more to see. On a desolate stretch in Delaware, I faced the same cloud formation for forty minutes - a perfect cross reaching high into the sky. It reflected gold from the sun. 

If I were still a Baptist, I'd have pulled off the road and prayed. Instead, I drove analyzing the cloud formation - cirrus at the top - then cirrostratus, then stratus, and finally cumulus. Forty minutes. 

In Maryland, I came to the Wigwam, a store that closes if a relative of an employee dies. It was open this time. 

From the crest of a bridge into Maryland, the other side looked like a pastel Japanese print. It's a long road south, but I relish every mile. 

In Virginia, I stopped at a diner where the cook won the lottery bigtime, but keeps working for her children's future. She's done it all her life. A man eating there in coveralls and no shirt, looked like Clint Eastwood without teeth. Between Bowling Green and Hanover Courthouse, the tall grass was amber and called to me. Past Richmond, the road runs through a fairyland and glows like the trees reflecting the sun's spectrum.

In North Carolina, memories took over the journey. The road to Durham. My family is gone - and theirs before them - and theirs before them - 'til the air breathes of them. I cannot stop in Durham - or it would become my destination. 

I'll drive that way again, but it won't be the same journey. 

                                        - from Voices From the Pink Parlor,
                                                  Star Island Conference on the Arts, 1999
- copyright  renewed © 2002 William T. Delamar

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