……………………….Escape from Big D
Two small town lads were we who spent the summer in Big D,
Where heat arose, as scorching sun beat down unmercifully.
And then was fired a dragons’ breath from acres of cement,
That left those city streets and walks like steam pours out a vent.
The heat baked loaves of loneliness away from family, friends
That we were forced to swallow; we were busy making ends
Meet – making money so that we could go to school.
In the bustle that was Dallas, each was just a molecule.
We had a certain circle, small, in which we felt secure –
To work, or play, or store – and nothing else was siren lure
Enough to take us from our comfort zone to loaded roads
That spread like spider webs, and carried many loathsome toads.
Oppressive heat made summer’s feet snail-slow to make its pass;
It schooled us with a tedium found in a boring class.
But finally its term was done; another’s time drew near.
Just one assignment still remained ere we were free and clear.
We had to work a final day, then to the master go –
The central office in downtown, and papers to them show.
Here was the middle of the mound that swarmed and teemed with ants
And spires of buildings pierced the sky as if each were a lance.
But worse is standing in a mound of ants that have been stirred
As ones who are the first to know are quick to pass the word.
And out an army rushes from each hole and porous rock
And fills the paths and lanes: rush hour traffic – five o’clock.
So through a maze of highways, exits, roads and one-way streets,
We had to map our way with care and also our retreat.
We plotted like the astronauts when headed for the moon,
And in the end, it was a single way that we had hewn.
And on that fateful day, we went to work with anxious face;
We knew that just a single flaw, and we’d spin into space,
And never would our ship return to family or home;
We’d live our lives among the stars and like lost nomads, roam.
The work went well; then we were done; we stuck close to our route,
And ev’ry turn went perfectly till downtown was about.
But it was nearing five o’clock and ants began to crawl,
As frantic ants are prone to swarm near Christmas at the mall.
We parked our car (I know not where); in company’s last spot?
Then up into the air we went to cut the Gordian knot.
The paperwork was finished somewhere on an upper floor;
We hastened then to exit from the open Dallas door.
Down, down we went with our emotions high up in a cloud
Until we saw the streets were full with nowhere going crowd.
Our one way street, our ticket home, was five blocked lanes abreast
And we were in the far right lane, behind a bus, at rest.
And worse – far worse! for small town lads, who knew but one
Our turn was left – and we were right, as far away as Rome.
A block away, but we were blocked; we knew no other way;
How dark is hopeless life when light hides even from the day!
But then, a miracle – the bus ahead picked up its fare.
And cutting left, it pushed the traffic back – our path was bare!
Like God, for Israel, did part the waters of the Sea,
The bus did thus for us; we followed close, freed from Big D.
© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2014.
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