It’s the nostalgic feeling mixed with an outlander identity

that coats my bones and soul as I travel that long-worn road.

It’s seeing the trees I identified as landmarks as a kid to let me know

how far along we actually were down Highway 19,

how far we were into that in-between land.

It’s where country pastures meet more country pastures on the right,

and railroad tracks on the left race your car.

It’s how the evening sun tilts its light down upon the asphalt,

the greenery of the trees and dilapidated houses and dirt roads.

It’s how I used to travel this road multiple times a month for multiple reasons–

whether it was a parent driving me or myself.

It’s the fact that going down this road now is strange,

because now . . . it is the road less traveled.

Even coming home to that one town stretched along this road,

even it has become a part of the road less traveled

as my reach extends to other roads and landmarks.

But new roads will never change the fact that it is home.

That whenever I breach the city limits and enter the small town within,

whenever I enter the door of my childhood home,

I will always feel safe, relieved, loved.

And my weary bones can rest,

and my weary soul can feel the weight of the world a little bit less.

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