Driving Toward Sunset on July 2nd
I’m driving in my Jeep tonight. Our Jeep.
Doors off, no top, the sky open and growing dark.
The air is a combination of backyard barbecue
and 4th of July fireworks already in bloom.
I want to feel this moment and let songs
I selected sway me. I venture west alone.
I try to let the music pull my mind away from business
and buildings. I’m speeding with only passing glances
through their glass-front windows. I’m not a stranger
to giving in to the wind and the music in isolation.
So many 4th of July celebrations spent without
my children or friends. A sacrifice I made to save myself
from a future with the wrong person. For ten years
of solo bike rides I was determined to find my own way
to the Missouri River. A sometimes winding path
with freedom to sing out loud or laugh or cry
and change my mood with each new song. Tonight
neither the stereo nor the calendar have power
to sway me. My thoughts are steeled with you, my love,
and the bike path you have planned for our 4th
together—we’ll ride a stretch of the Missouri
I’ve never seen up close before. Your promise to me
that I’ll never have to spend another holiday alone
is the only music I hear tonight.
And that music is calling me home.