Hour 16: Turning Home

I’d fallen asleep somewhere after Georgia.

One week in Mississippi soaked into my bones

and burned all my energy.

Leaving Mississippi meant leaving

the depths of the South

but I carried memories under my skin,

just below the places

where the sun had burned.


Behind me lay the dark silent streets

of Jackson nights.

They’d kept me awake

listening to what was missing.

Around me hummed

the song of the highway–

the murmuring of our car,

the whispering of the road,

the sudden brakes,

the surprised horns,

the rhythmic passing of car

after car

after car

– rocking me to sleep all the way to Cairo.


Surrounded by the Southern sounds

reminded us:

we might be in Illinois but not yet sweetly home

in Chicago.

There we could wash away

all but the memories

and watch most of our tears


down the


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