John Libertus


The Road - Poem by John Libertus

familiarity breeds the everyday;
I want a place,
I'm looking for someplace

where I don't know anything -

a place that's never the same
(like everyplace really is)
someplace
that can't be measured
off in acres, miles
or people

someplace
where there's no time of day
no sunset, sunrise, sunrise, sunset,
where the roads
are like the clouds,
you don't find them on a map,
you happen upon them
they happen upon you

a road is not a way for going
it is not made
it goes nowhere
it is not a thing
it happens

somewhere


not a place to go
not a place to leave
not a place to stay
someplace,
beyond the boundary of a place,
where there's the taste
of maybe it might rain,
where there's
no one to share
no one to measure, judge or care
no one that sees you, knows your name


it was a road you never really traveled, back so long ago
but now you see it from a different place, you see
a face of it you never saw before -
you don't know where it goes, you're not even really sure
if you can get back there,
but someplace
somehow
back there, before so many beginnings,
there's a place -


but you remember where you saw it
you remember, more or less, when
you saw it
you may remember there was someone with you -
you may even remember who, but
it doesn't really matter who it was,
they're not part of it,
they didn't notice;
they saw and yet they didn't see
the road -

they were almost the person
you thought you were;
yet, when you finally saw them, you knew,
no -
that's not the person you were, not even then;
someone you had never been
but thought you were -

the place is not a goal
it is not a place to be
there is nothing to be gained then -
there had never been a place to be, despite the promises
of a road, secure, sure
where everyone knew who you were, a road that went places
did things, made a mark, and yet
you remember a road
that happened
that had been there everyday,
a road you'd never traveled
that once you noticed -


it was not a dream:
you did not think so, even then,
but now you see it from a different place,
and don't know how you can,
back through all the roads that lie between;
you see a road
and so many who were the landmarks of your life
then, and since,
have come, and gone again, and all the roads
that lead from here seem empty, endless, since
they start from here,
but you remember a road
where no one knew you -
a road that no one knew you knew;
they were too busy teaching you
the edifice of expectation, built
brick by squared-off brick, of realistic dreams
that looked so good on paper;
you looked so promising that they promised you
a road
with both feet on the ground;
there was so much to do,
they paved a place, a parking lot for you,
they called a road -
and yet, there was a road they never knew
a road that happened -


now you are older, and they look to you
for maps; it makes you wonder:
did you ask for all their dreams
or did they just presume

and you must wonder, if you found that road again
and traveled it, would it become
like all the other roads you've traveled since,
or could you travel it the way you see it now


the mystery is real
back through all the roads and years
you still can see the road
waiting for you to wonder -

a secret: no one saw that road but you
no one sees it now but you -
a wonder: no one wonders
if they can find that road again
but you -

no one else is afraid to find that road,
for fear, in walking it,
they'd turn it into just another road,
but you -


somewhere you must have faith; somewhere you must believe
that road is strong enough to overcome
the mystery of how you make things everyday -

you must remember: you couldn't then
turn it to everyday

nor can you now; that's why you remember


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Poem Submitted: Monday, May 15, 2006



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