Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hiway 9

The Road to Somewhere

When you're young, the road is wide.
Wide enough you walk side by side.
When you're old,
it gets narrow as your veins.
On your way to the drooling chair.
White coat Jesus gonna meet you there.
Just follow the steeple sign
to Hiway 9.

Let our friendly, helpful staff
drip the morphine in your mask.
Rest your cyanotic skin.
Wet your lips with Ativan.
Inner peace is PRN.
Ring the bell, I'll be right in.
Just follow the steeple sign
to Hiway 9.

When you're young your lungs are wide.
Air's a sweet rush without trying.
When you're old,
they narrow to a strain.
On your way through the symptoms list,
pray for miracles you might have missed.
And follow the steeple sign
to Hiway 9.


***

PRN - "as needed"

Inspired by mood wings' word list and Kelly Letky's photography.  Submitted to Real Toads.

Fearing that y'all really think I don't know how to spell, I added the bottom image. That's the cheesy, tacky feel I was going for.

21 comments:

mood wings said...

Holy cats! This whole section gets a great big sigh:

"On your way to the drooling chair.
White coat Jesus gonna meet you there.
Just follow the steeple sign
to Hiway 9.


Let our friendly, helpful staff
drip the morphine in your mask.
Rest your cyanotic skin.
Wet your lips with Ativan.
Inner peace is PRN.
Ring the bell, I'll be right in."

What insanely effective rhythm and rhyme.

This coupling makes me think of Coal Black:
"On your way to the drooling chair.
White coat Jesus gonna meet you there."

I'm SO glad you played along. There's a link in the sidebar with more lists (and picture prompts), for whenever the mood might strike you.

Kerry O'Connor said...

You ripped the plaster off old age without a gentle warning first! Love it.

Kathryn Dyche Dechairo said...

Oh the joys of youth . . . a window into all that we have to look forward to.

Susan said...

If only that old highway led to Cloud 9. I stay on the road only because I am not ready for the alternative, even with Jesus suffering everything right beside me.

Helen said...

... this one hits close to home! Tell me there is a detour somewhere!

Margaret said...

What an outstanding, unblinking look of getting old and older… It's written so "freshly"… makes me think you may have someone near and dear to you that is going through this.

Sioux said...

The "drooling chair" made me smile wryly.

This is it. This is where we're all headed, if we live to a ripe (or overripe) old age...

Hannah said...

This image does invoke the progression of time...barriers between the living and the dead...you brought so many intriguing examples of this, Mz...awesome writing!

mood wings said...

I was so enamored of the language and sound the first time around that I didn't really let the meaning sink in very deep. This time, it's making me feel pretty sad thinking about loved ones in nursing homes.

Sumana Roy said...

"White coat Jesus gonna meet you there."...white coat they wear and and try to heal but..sigh...a poignant write..

Björn Rudberg said...

The way that just gets narrower with age. That's an image that works so deep.

Marion said...

Man, you make getting old sound like a death sentence. It beats the hell out of the alternative and sex is way better. It's spelled "highway", not "hiway". Peace & Love

Fireblossom said...

Thanks for the explanatory note about PRN; I wouldn't have known. You seem to be going all musical on our azz. Once again, this one sings, though it's an unvarnished blues. I like the contrast between young ease and later devilment.

mrs mediocrity said...

oh my... wow.

"White coat Jesus gonna meet you there." Just a fabulous line, this is filled with wonderful rhythm and wry wit, perfect foils for such a poignant topic.

hedgewitch said...

I have somewhat better memories of Highway 9, going to Thunderbird stables, or the lake--but being old now, I don't even *want* to do that anymore. Under the soaring eloquent language, your view of this road we all travel is stark--the middle stanza especially has a searing quality of brutal truth, the thing we don't want to look at, till we have nothing else to see.

Jazzbumpa said...

I'm old enough to see the hiway narrowing.

You tell it true - grim with no sugar coating.

namaste
JzB

grapeling said...

air's a sweet rush without trying...

damn. fine work, MZ ~

georgeplaceblog said...

As Bette Davis says, "It ain't for sissies." True write, Mama Zen

Susie Clevenger said...

Ativan...That is a ghost from my mother's Alzheimer's treatment. Your piece is the stark reality of aging. My parents and in-laws are all gone now. Of all of them my father had the quickest escape on highway 9. He had a heart attack while shaving and died.

consciouscacophony said...

Wow, this is brilliantly bleak. The contrasts, the repetition, the wide road versus the narrow veins...wowzers...powerful, biting imagery. I chose the same photo for my post but if I'd read your stellar piece first, I'm not sure I would have dared attempt to base anything on it after this epic of hiway 9.

Marian said...

gah, the symptoms list of Hiway 9!