Gather and Head West


 Gather and Head West 

Leaving behind 22 years of myself

         I pack a U Haul

         with the couch, bed and table.

All those things collected

         had to fit into this little truck.

Precious books and records

         placed where they can't be crushed.

Cab loaded with family and cat

         I headed west and didn't look back.

I did not need to.

Memories head-packed as full as a suitcase

         of a traveling salesman.

The Santo de Cristo

         dominating the western horizon

         with their white blanket.

 The Peak with its flirtatious fashion changes

         of  garment to suit the season

         providing the Southern door.

On the line between the Rockies and the plains

         the city was hilly

         as if not sure if

         it was Rockies or Great Plains.

I rode down Garfield at high speed,

         then pushed my bike up.

I remember all those brick walks.

One loose brick

          and collectors took the next one.

California is a collecting point

         for bricks that have Trinidad

         printed on them.

Then there was Nelson's Trading Post

         where the bus came with 

         bundles of the Rocky Mountain News.

Below zero with snow on the ground

         as I walked up Tillatson

         on squeaking snow

         to deliver a newspaper.

Crooked old brick Commercial Street

         made the tires sound as if they were flat.

Preserved as is.

Old Santa Fe Trail.

Traditional bricks.

Then there was the West Theater where

         the balcony was the

         closest thing to teen privacy.

Off to Charlie's Barbecue

         to see how many of us could get

         into the limited space.

Nickel jukebox playing Miller and Dorsey.

Could we get a beer at Lee's

         or would we have to go to Jansen

          and see Katie and Joe?

Eastside was out those days.

Got caught recently. 

Drive the town up and down Main

         and down Commercial

         hoping to see a girl, any girl.

Pack all these memories

          and head west with

         a truckload of things.

Twenty-two years of memories

          take up more brain files

          than needed for the next 60.

When I wake to a train whistle

         I remember that on a very cold night

         I could hear the old steam engine and whistle

         way off in  El Moro.










History. Wanted to do just the right thing to record this event