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Ken Kesey’s bronze statue cozied up to me

On that bench in Eugene.  I knew Further,

That painted Urge to trip across country,

Thumb out, backpack on.

I jumped a 6-foot fence in Minnesota,

State trooper’s light flashing,

Left a swag of denim on the wire there.

Outside Santa Barbara, a crazy guy

Asked me what planet I was from

So I bailed at the light. 

A bench on Highway 1

Midway from LA to Frisco

Had a mailbox with papers and matches.

I took yarn from my pack

When a trucker asked too many questions,

Long needles flashing as I knit

Nothing useful, bad as

The preacher who took me to my block

But made me pray for redemption.

New snow in Colorado meant

The switchbacks were slippery.

The driver careened down the mountains;

I gripped the backseat and prayed for real.

So, Ken Kesey, you came back

To farm and family – I understand

This urge, too, to root down and raise up a generation,

To leave it all on the field of play

Then stretch the thumb out

For that last trip outta this world.

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