They head out onto the highway at 3am,
an early start on the miles, to beat the traffic
of Baltimore, the heat of the hot summer sun.
He thinks of days before MapQuest or Internet.
How he’d sit up the night before with a huge
Rand McNally Road Atlas and a yellow legal pad
finding the turns, short cuts, and scenic route.
“A bundle of nerves, jumpy as a cat”, 700 miles
alone for the first time, so his father explained it
in his signature, matter of fact, practical way.
Not many people know it, but truck drivers do-
Take odd roads north and south, like 81, 77, and 95.
Take even roads east and west, like 70, 76, and 40.
Read the Interstate signs, you’ll find your way back.