The Thin Yellow Lines This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

We'vedriven miles, miles forward, miles back
Changed or lost direction a thousandtimes
We had no real destination, only a purpose
A purpose of exploration,of no real importance
But it meant all the world to those of us
Entombed inthe old white car, that had one brake light working
And one thatwasn't
Road lines drifted by, more frequent than waves upon a beach
Butwith less effect, and less noise
If we had a sunroof we might have seen thesun
That occasionally disappeared among the clouds
If we had a spare tirewe might not have been stuck at the gas station
Hours spent waiting for thein-house mechanic to clean the grease from his hands
The grease that neverwashed off
It was like blood in that sense
A lot of time was spent inbathrooms
Or pulling off the road in search of bathrooms
Or cleaning offthe seats of toilets in the bathrooms
And a lot of time was spent gazingblankly
At the blank billboards on the sides of the nondescriptroad
Friends all, those of us who survived
Those not struck down byfear
Of dirty toilets, greasy food, mysterious towns
Wicked gypsies, blackleather bikers, fat mechanics with blood on their hands
And most of all, adisturbing sense of useless pursuit
Those of us carsick from driving inpossible circles
Or figure eights, triangles, octagons, and many othernameable shapes
There was no straight line and no method to ourmadness
Only a hope, a hope that through the woods
Of darkened twistedbranches, open glorious meadows, shifty swamps
There would be a light, perhapsit was the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel
Perhaps it was that kindof light that streams through the open window in the morning
Filtered andfractured and illuminating the dust particles floating in the air
Perhaps itwas that murky light of dreams, that vanishes upon waking
But whatever it was,it was that hope which kept putting more miles on the car
More gallons of gasin the tank, and kept the eyes fixed upon the road
I look back now, upon thelength of the car
Seated friends, a smile and a hope, and legscrossed
Waiting for the next bathroom
Old hamburger wrappers litter thebackseat
Memories, mementos of conquests gleaned or lost
They are roadmaps, travelers' stamps of places seen
and never seen again.

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Copyright 2006 by Teen Ink, The 21st Century and The Young Authors Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.
Thispublication may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system ortransmitted in any form or by any means,
without the writtenpermission of the publisher: The Young Authors Foundation, Inc.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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