First Things - Religion and Public Life Donate to First Things
Login forgot password? | register Close

My father stopped at every one of them,
A need to know that drove us nuts and slowed
Our progress toward the lake. We stood in sweat,
Lurking like hitchers by the asphalt road.

The Battle of the Washita; the birth
Place of Will Rogers; any church or shoot-
Out that one might say mattered stopped us cold
Beside the crumbling shoulder of old Route

66. So I’d drag my teenage self
Out of the car to nudge the shoulder rocks
With white-toed Converse tips and stand there half
Enthused while trying to look bored. Those talks

About the past beside the highway strip
Are past now too, my father gone, the darker
Years since a road I drive as it gets late,
Squinting into the dusk to find a marker.

—Benjamin Myers