I just love the late spring – especially out across the plains states when there’s warm sunshine during the day and exciting thunderstorms at night. I used to be terrified of thunderstorms when I was a little kid, but when I rode in the truck with my dad, the storms were exciting to me. Perhaps I fed off of dad’s excitement, or perhaps I just felt safer in the truck with him – either way, I’ve grown to love an active and vibrant nighttime thunderstorm. This poem is about the times when the long night and turbulent weather are paired with the feeling of road weariness and the lack of available parking. We all love the sound of a healthy diesel engine when it fires up but, sometimes, the best sound on the planet is the sound of that thing shivering to a stop at the end of a long night. Add to that the song of a storm out on the plains, and you’ve got yourself one of the sweetest lullabies in the world!
THE RAIN & THE RAMP
By Trevor Hardwick
I know that I’ve been running hard,
When thoughts invade my head.
How far I have to go to park,
And when to head to bed.
Rain hits on the window pane,
The headlights burn my eyes.
A storm rolls out across the plains,
And lightning fills the skies.
I pull into the pickle-park,
Not a spot there to be found.
I roll out of the other end,
As the thunder rolls around.
A few more miles of rumble-strips,
A few old billboard signs.
I lean forward, on the steering wheel,
And I focus on the lines.
The gusts of wind are picking up,
Like they do here on the central plains.
Pretty soon they’re pushing me,
Like the caffeine in my veins.
Through the slapping wiper blades,
I see lights up on the hill.
I sit up straight, and stretch and yawn,
And pop an aspirin pill.
I pulled into the Flying Hook,
And I circled ‘round the lot.
Too tired to even contemplate,
If I’ll stay in this dive, or not.
Well, ain’t it just my kind of luck,
I’ll be parked out on the ramp.
It ain’t the safest place to park,
Nor the perfect place to camp.
I turn the roaring engine off,
And it shivers to a stop.
The rain sings me a lullaby,
And the distant thunder pops.
Oh, what a night it’s been,
Feels good to climb in bed.
As the storm rolls out across the plains,
And the thoughts invade my head.