Home Again, Home Again

Iowa Farms

Abandoned Barn © 2013 Bo Mackison

The Ninth Day

Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 7:17 am. 41˚ and a cold drizzle.
I study the map with intention.
450 miles from my destination, and suddenly I yearn to be home.
Damp, the gray clouds spread before me, hugging close to the ground.
It’s farther than I want to drive, but I throw my preferences out the car window,
and phone home, “No stops today. I’ll be there by 3.”

Fog thickens, the spinning windmills disappear,
only the brown-black soil drenched with slick puddles is visible.
For distraction’s sake, I turn on the radio, listen to an interview in progress,
Maya Angelou recalls her youth, the words of wisdom she lives by,
I catch bits and pieces as I concentrate on steering
around wide load trucks and semi trucks, double strung.

“Love liberates love,” she says. “Doesn’t bind.”
I think of my four month stay in Arizona.
Angelou speaks her mother’s words: “I’d love to have you near me,
but if that isn’t possible – go.” The ultimate gift.

The exit sign for Rushmore, Minnesota shifts into view,
Red wing blackbirds dart from field post to billboard post.
Worthington, Minnesota.
“Love liberates love. Love doesn’t bind.” The radio informs.

I take a break from the steady rain, pull out my umbrella,
pace the pavement in front of a square rest-area building.
Winded and chilled, I wipe the raindrops from my arms and face,
resume my drive.

Piano notes fill the car’s interior, Bill Evans plays Peace Piece.
My chest tightens, the need to drive safely is stronger than my urge to weep.
It’s been a long drive, a long stay away.
A swarming flock of crows mobs a hawk.
Skies lighten, blue sky window,
only a glimpse before gray returns.

Iowa Farms

Glimpse of Sun © 2013 Bo Mackison

In central Minnesota, I exit I-90. Back roads cut the angle.
State highways wind through the countryside. Snow covers fields.
Shooting Star Scenic Highway.
At the VFW east of Adonis, I wait in a traffic jam.
Drivers park cars along the road, there’s a crowd
standing outside, neatly in a long line.
Flashing neon sign tells all — Chicken Dinner, 12 Noon to 2:00.
I munch on almonds and string cheese. My apple rolls on the floor mat.

LeRoy, Minnesota.
Upper Iowa River at flood stage.
More music on the radio – Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers,
James Taylor crooning You Are My Only One.
I’ll Make Love to You by Boyz II Men.
I’m at flood stage, too.

MN 56, US 63 South, IA 9 East.
I zag across state lines, searching for short cuts.
Lionel Richie’s Truly plays on the radio. Really? Universe, I am listening.
I pull to the roadside, take deep breaths, open another bottle of water,
turn off the radio to concentrate on the road.

My breathing comes easier as I cross the Mississippi at Marquette
and two hawks dive from the limestone cliffs, land on a sliver of river island.
On the eastern shore, the governor’s sign welcomes me to Wisconsin.
At Mount Ida, in a 20 mile an hour zone, I study a woman
as she spray paints her yard’s dried seed heads a bright iridescent blue.
I smile. Then I grin.

An hour later, I pull into my driveway.
Home again.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. A cross-country traveler by day, and an occasional poet by night. This poem is in nine parts, because the trip lasts nine days. This is Day Nine, the final day of traveling. This entry is dedicated to Sherpa, who is close to my heart, wherever I am.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Jackie Toton says:

    Glad you are safely home. I know that sudden mad urge to just be back to the familiar, to bathe in it without thinking, to see without seeing. I’ve loved your postings!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      I am glad to be home, Jackie! I had a wondrous trip, lollygagging across half of America, then the blues caught up with me — and it was time to be home! Glad you enjoyed the travelogue! 🙂

  2. So very happy to have you home again, my love.

  3. Ahh, that urge to brave the freeways and focus on getting to a destination–particularly into the loving arms (and dinner!) of Sherpa. What an wonderful reunion it must have been, anticipating your arrival as you traveled across the country. The photos in this post were poignant, too, as if even the landscape wanted you back home safely.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      After 8 days on the road, I knew my limits, knew my heart was pushing me to get on home. And I knew I could drive on the interstate for 400+ miles. It was simply time to be back home! We did have a great re-union, too. Loving arms AND shish-ka-bobs, hot off the grill.

  4. Ah, so perfect! So, so perfect! All those universal hints – songs, hawks, blue spray paint – everything! Welcome back to Wisconsin….though I’m a tad late!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      I really could NOT believe those songs — those exact songs — kept coming on the radio. Truly, at one point I had to pull off the road, quit crying, find the tissues and turn off the radio. It’s a bit funny now, but when it was happening I was heartbreakingly lonely and so wanted to be home!!!

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