Day Fifteen, Road Trip 2016

everyone wins today
 with sleeping in and reading books
 and me fitting in a bike ride
 on the way to the movies
 (coastal views, zero elevation,
 heat seeping through my new
 jersey in a rushed attempt to
 meet the time schedule)
 and yet it hovers.
 my vacation.
 my vacation with friendly family,
 getting-along-quite-well girls,
 ocean views and coral reefs
 and the best lake swimming there is
 and …
 no happy hour.
 pedaling across those bridges,
 sweating steps in Savannah,
 making it through another day,
 a blessed, lucky day on this earth…
 and no drink to top it off,
 to melt the anxiety that comes
 with upcoming controversial family,
 the stress that will be DC in July,
 seeing my father-in-law slowly lose his mind;
 no drink to bring brighter to life
 the constancy of waves,
 to further open my mouth for all
 the thoughts i’m dying to share,
 (to pour onto the page);
 no drink to further relax my toes
 into this cushion of sand,
 my sore muscles into the clutch of alcohol,
 my mind from the weight of the world.
 and i say it again and again:
 There’s always a reason…
 and even on the perfect day,
 the life’s a beach dream vacation day,
 it. is. still. hard.
 it is why i pedal.
 why i write.
 why i drive 6000 miles.
 why i watch waves.
 because the need to escape is real.
 in all of us, no matter how picture-perfect our lives appear,
 it is as real as this view, this beach, these toes.
 but i made it.
 i made it through another day.
 and this poem is my happy hour.

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