Christmas Road Trip

November 14, 2008
By Audrey Harnagel, Park City, UT

A twelve-hour drive
Is coming your way
Packages piled to the ceiling
Every last square inch crammed
With something essential
Pile in
Buckle up

WAIT!

Unplug the Christmas tree
The house won’t burn down
Doors are locked
Lights are off
We can leave

Hour 1
Carols playing
Spirits high
Family happy
Not for long

Hour 2
“I have to pee!”
The brother announces
Sigh, roll eyes
“We just left,”
Retorts the mom
“But I gotta go!”
He persistently whines
Rest stop slows us down
On the perpetual journey

Hour 3
Discussion wavers
Electronics blink on
Video games and movies
Necessities

Hour 4
Stop to eat
Back on the road

Hour 5
When do we get there?
There’s a long way to go
Ugh

Hour 6
Finish your book
Movie’s over
Switch drivers
Continue on
What now?

Hour 7
Brother harassing
Poking
Whining
So much for big happy family

Hour 8
Watch the cornfields pass
Until you get dizzy
Count the semi trucks on I-80
Wonder why anyone would want to live
In this God forsaken country

Hour 9
PJ’s bunching
Legs cramping
Tempers flaring
Family nagging
iPod turned up high
Close your eyes and wish it were over

Hour 10
Reach civilization
Traffic
Crawl through rush hour
Cursing, shushing
We must go fast, fast, faster,
To reach our destination

Hour 12
Brother snoring
Mother knitting
Father driving
Time for sleep

We arrive
Finally
Unstick your face from the window
Step out of the car on drunken legs
Walk into Grandma’s
Collapse

Ah the joys of Christmas travels

The author's comments:
Christmas, and the holidays in general, are all about family and togetherness. Well, there's always a journey to get there. This is my family's annual traveling routine across the Midwest.

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