Every day starts with the turn of a key

and a shift into drive.

I roll down a gravelly path,

onto smooth tar that winds over hills

and around tight corners.

As I fly down my memorized road

I’m cocooned in dense treetops,

content and safe.

It’s perfect here.

Totally unbothered by summer tourists

who wouldn’t dare to stray so far from sand

into the forested hills that are my home.

I stay here as long as I can

but I must keep driving forward.

It’s impossible to turn back now.

I eventually find myself caught 

in the monotony of familiar traffic.

My steady drive nearly halted

as I crawl through crowded towns

of artificial people

doing artificial things.

I’m alone with my thoughts.

No music blasting through the cabin

and out my open windows

can ever drown them out. 

I wonder if I’m just like the pedestrians,

crossing streets with barely a look

at the oncoming traffic barreling towards them

or motorists gawking at small-town charm,

inching ever so closely to parked vehicles.

I begin to think that I’m lost in some way,

straying far from the course I’m supposed to take.

Just as I consider turning around to go back

to my perfect place where I’m comfortable 

and don’t need to think about where I am,

Route 1 becomes country roads

that remind me of where I’ve been

while encouraging me to branch out

into a world I have yet to know.

I’m exponentially more confident now 

then the first time I drove this path,

when I made poor decisions that forced me to reroute

and fortunate mistakes that lead me

on scenic drives down twisting lanes

pointing to where I am today.