Outside the Owl Cafe

Station 6

near the mailboxes, we sip cold bitter coffee
rain weary we slip into silence and wait
for a good samaritan driving the late hours

--Save your energy, Lulu. Lean your pack against
the mailboxes. You can rest against this tree.
Careful of the puddles; it could be a long wait.

not a car in sight the road the woods soundless
not an easy quiet secret fears concealed in darkness
Ramon paces immersed in thought I am forgotten

--Hey, ya wanta ride north to Potter Valley.
You sure are soaked. Put your packs in the back.
Move those boxes around. IÍll turn on the heater.

--You bet. If you don't mind, I'll set up front
so Lulu can stretch out. Potter Valley?
That's near Ukiah, isn't it?

rain beats against windows wipes fail to sweep away
the collected rain fail against the downpour
each of us held captive by a curtain of drops

--Grew up in LA, loved it as a kid
the ocean, the surf. But all that's changed
Spent four years in 'Nam, now I can't stand it

--Me too. But, I never made it to the beach.
Might as well been brought up in Kansas.
Just a lot of concrete, bad air, and mean people.

--this is the spot. God's earth. found just what I wanted.
Got animals, kids, a good wife. Grow a little
weed and go to school on the GI bill.

precious land this Potter Valley unknown to me
before tonight mark this spot in memory it mustn't fall
into oblivion Potter Valley a place to put our fears to rest

Old Oak Tree, Outside of Ukiah
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