South On I-75 With Our Daughter & Snoopy In Back

South On I 75 With Our Daughter & Snoopy In Back prose poem

Uploaded by Bill Peeler

Whenever you’d ask me how much farther
I’d always tell you we’re closer
Than the last time you asked
And this seemed to satisfy you
You’d say, “ We’re closer?”
“That’s right,” I’d say
“Then how much longer?” you’d want to know
“Less than the last time you asked,” I’d say
And that would do it for a while
Your mother and I would smile at each other
A knowing, secret smile and all the while
With engine humming and four wheels singing on the asphalt
The miles and minutes sped by us through towns
And pastures, past billboards and groves of walnut and pecan
Miles and minutes meant little to you
But “closer” and “less” did the trick
Broad concepts all too obvious
To a grown-up to the point of being facetious
But your mind was uncluttered, unfettered
And blithely unlettered at four years of age
With the landscape rolling by at 70 mph
Always fresh and new to you no matter
How many eons old the world may be
I did not want you to lose that as you grew
Ever more lovely, to have to wear a watch
To set the alarm on the night stand by the bed
Or hang a calendar on the wall to track the days
Marking them off, each one X-ed into the past forever
And mostly forgotten there among the weeds
And litter scattered along the side of the road
I did not want the ticking, whirring, buzzing
Demands of time to touch your perfect ears
Or get anywhere near your tender soul
Nor for the weeks and months to fall like leaves in autumn
Until years of them lay piled up un-raked in the yard
Smothering the grass and clogging the gutters
I would have banished these things from you if I could
And let you grow, not in increments of days
And inches at so many miles per gallon
Between the exits and the filling stations
But infinitely more innocent by the day
As on a journey on a highway with you and your Snoopy
Strapped snug and secure in the back seat
And ever closer to that lovely land
That shines in the sun by the sparkling sea
Where your Grandmother lives to take you places
For no other reason than to make you happy

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Bill Peeler

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My wife, Noy and I are Protestant missionaries in Cambodia. We met in a border refugee camp in Thailand back in 1979 while I was a refugee relief worker. She was a refugee. I lived and worked in Mairut Refugee Camp for three years. We have three grown kids. I was drafted into the Army in 1969, served in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971 and honorably discharged at the end of my military obligation. Writing prose and poetry is how I document the life I'm living and how I map out the mental landscape inside my head.
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Nadeem Qazilbash

Hoping against hope that the realities of this practical world would not dawn on our celestial minds. Alas, a forlorn quest.


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