Barstow, CA - Memory in Poem
Just north of the Mojave in 1975,
I crossed the California border on route 15
In a Continental Trailways bus.
It was the summer I learned to play guitar.
The driver tipped off the toll booth attendant
That we had a drunk in the back.
Nearly to Barstow, the bus pulled over to flashing lights.
Someone in a uniform took my grandma’s oranges
And the guy in the back.
They took the oranges, because of fruit flies.
They took the man because his undercover FBI agent story
Was all swagger and booze, but no badge.
The forced air,
Cold, dry, and flavorless
Mixed in my head with the fish stick nausea
I’d carried from Williamsport, Pennsylvania,
It spun a psychedelic yarn
Of desert buttes and orange earth
across the plexiglass window.
Like those movies without a soundtrack.