Haute Dish The Arts & Literature Magazine of Metropolitan State University red flower
Summer 2005




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The road to ballycastle
Matthew Spillum

You miss a ride, you get to see the road.
Bushmills lies ten mucky miles behind me
I pause to curse my luck and shift the load
Of sixty pounds of pack and rain. I see
No shelter anywhere; no house, no tree.
No Good Samaritan…nor even like her
The cars passing by completely ignore me.
No one picks up a wet hitchhiker.

Three miles to go, I try out a new mode:
You owe me a pint for each car I see.
I’d get better results on Causeway road…
That’s where the tourist traffic would be.
The game’s low tally compounds my misery
No sign of relief for this sodden hiker
Just rain and muddy road as far as I see.
No one picks up a wet hitchhiker.

Each pitter-spat and footstep splat is slowed.
My warm pub goal can only carry me
So far. I wish that I were safely stowed,
A roof above, dry feet below and we
Just talking, no more walking for us three.
If Ireland must soak me to psyche her
Up, I guess I’ll have to take it gladly.
No one picks up a wet hitchhiker.

No bus, no car, no transport will have me.
I wouldn’t mind the rain if I had a bike here
My feet slog on, all damp, cold and muddy.
No one picks up a wet hitchhiker.


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