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  • travisstephens38

Full Wisconsin

for my siblings, very much on my mind........




My ride, daily, is not lonely.

Four, five, six lanes going one way &

when I got behind another semi

I thought of my trucker brother, Mick.

When I merge ahead I can almost hear him say

“Ah, jeez. What did you do THAT for?”

his voice gone to Full Wisconsin

in exasperation.


When a red car zipped past us, a flash,

that was our sister. Like her namesake

she has a small, heavy foot. Flying

north of Chippewa, our Theresa May.


Mick & I share a shrug & then a wave

at a beat-up Chevy pickup.


bumper sticker & it’s older brother

Wild Bill up for a visit.

He was probably stopped in Illinois as they

check Texas plates for guns.

Most likely Bill doesn’t ride alone;

 it’s a long way & if he doesn’t

necessarily mean trouble

he’s quick to offer it a ride.


Brake lights. Whoa.

We stop for god knows what

& spot a shiny Harley splitting lanes.

Brother Vern going to a Packers game,

leading with a joy earned & unencumbered


He leaves us behind, even the crowded

shop truck with a crew. Keith is driving,

likely, with the mechanics & hunters

hanging on to every word. I like to

think I’m a writer but he is the storyteller.


Ah, jeez, we’re moving again.

Lurching toward home.

I’ve been west long enough that I get asked

the same where-you-from as any

other idling Angeleno.

I just say “Somewhere else.”


I speed a little, cut lanes where I can

& sometimes talk to myself.

Brothers & sisters

of the freeway, shiny & unwashed,

uninsured & unlikely,

I forgive you

of your many trespasses,

so long

as you forgive me.



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