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Monday, November 15, 2010

The Journey

I spent the day enfolded
in the car, searching for reasons
not to go back to the house,
yearning for something
I couldn't name.

I left the inland desert,
traversed the valley and listened to
the songs of my youth.

A young Neil Young sang

to the old man I'd become
and I was struck with such
a sudden sadness it shocked
me from my reverie.

I looked around at other drivers,

their faces expressionless, 


No one saw the difference.

The car rode the crest

of the Sepulveda Pass and eased
into its descent like rolling off
a bed mid-dream. Before you know it
you've hit the floor, slightly hurt
and wondering how you'd not
seen it coming.

The Getty loomed like Mount Zion

in the sky, all angles and white.
The trolley sidled up the canyon wall
like a magician delivering
the sinners to Saint Peter.

The City of the Angels crouched like a cat

below, and the air suddenly changed.

I exited on Santa Monica Boulevard,

and waited at the light. 

The bums are back.
It's like it was in the '80s, 

and everything new is old again. 

The blush of dusk hung
like a dirty persimmon 

on the horizon.

Numb with anonymity, 

I followed the stream
of lights that curled 

back into the valley.

This is all there is. 

No rhyme. No reason.
Just this. 

And more of this.

I stopped at Circle K for milk,

and when I turned the corner
onto Copperhill, I braked.

A coyote.

In the sweep

of the headlights, he was
beautiful and lithe and seemed
right at home, even here.

I wanted to tell him so.

He trotted easily and crossed the street.


He stopped at the edge
of the brush and turned to watch me, 

as if to tell me something.

Go home.

And I cried because home is

so very far away.

~~ Elodie Pritchartt

Photo by Jeff Ackerman