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I am a child of the road trip. Several times my parents packed my older sister and me into the backseat of the car for a cross-country trip to West Virginia or Pennsylvania, where they were originally from. The best part of the trip was Route-66 from California to Chicago. It had everything a small boy could ever wish for: Indian ruins, cave dwellings, prehistoric dinosaurs, firecrackers, and all kinds of strange and unusual sideshows and attractions. Always, just ahead. Those magical moments of mystery and adventure on Route-66 remain some of my favorite childhood memories. In the summer of 2016, I retook that road trip with my fiancée on the original southwest section of Route-66 to Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was a surreal experience to compare past memories to current reality. The effect of time on a highway, a nation... a person. It had never been more apparent that time marches on; you can appreciate and even cherish the past, but you cannot live there. 

Postcards From the Mother Road
by Frank Elkins ©2016

On the Mother Road –
America's Main Street,
The Highway of Dreams...

Trying to regain something left behind. 

Reconnecting dots in history,
arousing cherished childhood mystery –
Lost pieces of forgotten recollection,
rediscovering what once was mine.

Recalling stolen memories –
Picked up like pilfered pieces of petrified wood,
concern and consequence misunderstood –
A keepsake of remembrance.

Fading childhood apparitions,
reappear as ghosts along a haunted highway.
Specters of an abandoned high desert plain...
Graffiti rendered ruins now all that remain.

Foreshadowing the road ahead –
Memories forgotten, and memories dead.
Reclusive shadows that can't be retraced,
from a not so distant time and place...

Reminding us who we once were.

Midst a muddled reminiscence,
things inescapably come together at last –
Our life and destiny reside in the future,
because you cannot re-pave the past.

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