lost travelers all

“how did I get here?”

such words of desperation

are spoken so often


in the first half-light of day

or harshly,

in the aftermath,

of a knockdown fight

sometimes spoken whimsically

but other times

uttered with grave reverence

to the dire consequences

and the inevitable

unpleasant results

5 words which are:

murmured by the infirm

mumbled by the forgotten

shouted by the incarcerated

slurred by the inebriated

cried tearfully by the lost

whispered by the humbled

you know…

those who:

were momentarily, and

with very little ceremony

given over to reckless

pursuits, in the dark of night

5 words spoken usually

as the color of the new day

pours across the rose colored sheets

of the Waycroft Motel

or lightens the sky above

the White Sands Motor Lodge

or heats the cheek-side desert sand

of the El Paso train yard

or tumbles into the alley behind

the Side Pocket Saloon

or causes the bars

of the Clark County Detention Center

to cast long parallel shadows

down Cell block B

or whitewashes the corridors

of Jackson Memorial

where it

brings the hope of new day

to the victim of

last night’s bike crash on I -95

“how did I get here?”

sobs the girl at the Paducah Greyhound station

Kleenex tissue in her right hand

ticket to Albert Lea in her left