I scoot to the familiar place, the middle seat of his Chevy pickup.
It’s Sunday night and time for a drive since the time changed and deer season soon arrives.
Pickup rides with Country Man take me back to nineteen, when all this country stuff was new and especially the country boy. He is so in his element here, and I guess I like being out of mine.
Before I knew these roads, I quickly became lost in the gravel dust but felt safe with the map on the back of his hand.
From the pickup view, the sky never looked so big, so magical and unknown,
yet it seems like his and mine alone and the outline of our dreaming heart’s home.
It’s on these country drives, that for a little while, I am nineteen, innocent and free in my mind’s Dreamland, and he is twenty with the world at his feet.
And while it wasn’t all that long ago, it still is and this is one way to connect to those two people I once knew.
She extends her soft hand and I take it, amazed at what ten years will do, and she reminds me to look, really look, at his eyes, to see the hope and love he has for this country and the woman next to him. To look beyond that he doesn’t always have the words to say how he feels, but he always has his actions and that’s what I trust more than anything.
Her fingers touching mine, I am reminded again of why we are here. I ask her why I forget and she just laughs like I’m too serious.
It turns dark, and our hands part as we move wheels away from the western sky, and I turn and watch as she waves and smiles, waiting peacefully until we meet again on that next drive…