“On the road again…”
by Stephanie J. Morrissey

As a child I’d sing;
when the rubber
hit the melting asphalt;
the muggy city air
caressing my face.
We happily, hot and sweaty,
embarked to the Sunshine State
to see ‘Pots’ and ‘Granna.’
We’d arrive irritated,
still hot and sweaty,
nonetheless relieved, three days later
at “the house in Florida.”
ENGAGE vacation whirlwind of:
Disneyland; Epcot; Splash Mountain;
Typhoon Lagoon; Boardwalk and Baseball;
Universal City; Busch Gardens;
Silver Springs; Cypress Gardens;
Vero Beach; Ron’s Surf Shop;
Kennedy Space Center; the golf course.
I had summer vacations
kids wished they had.
The All American Dream,
just like the Griswolds,
but without most of the chaos.

When I was little I loved it.
As I grew older I began to hate it,
the monotony; the idea
of what these places represented these icons
of what being an American meant.
The false American Dream
they all perpetuated.
I always hoped
to have the lesson at the end
that all that really mattered was
our family spending time together
Sadly, those amusement parks
were an attempt to fill a void.
I don’t enter amusement parks
of my own volition as an adult,
I just don’t have the time
to spend with them anymore.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTOGRAPH: This photo was taken on my birthday when my kids, my now exhusband, and I went to Ocean Beach in San Francisco, CA, July 6, 2009.

Now that Stephanie has escaped the hell that was her
evil childhood vacations, she now enjoys taking vacations
with her two sons, Xavier and Erick, that involve
anything outdoors, cultural or educational. Stephanie,
however, still retains her genetic love for travel,
she never really considers a trip
a vacation anymore, they’re all just adventures.

My creative process deviated from my normal process for this poem.
This time I prepped by looking at some recent vacation photos, talking to
my kids about past vacations we had, reflecting on my vacations as a      child,
watching National Lampoons Vacation, and jamming out to some tunes
we listened to on road trips as a kid while brainstorming with one of my      best gals.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stephanie J. Morrissey has been has been writing poetry for over 20 years — but, until recently, was hiding in a hobbit hole with her poetry as the protective walls. Ready to step out in the world and share her poetry, in the past three years she has performed at the poetry segment for Art Outside 2013, Austin International Poetry Festival 2013, Metal and Lace twice as a featured poet through Austin Salon Poetic 2013 and 2014, and hosted an Open Mic for about a year at Ruta Maya — all in and around her current home base of the ever-weird Austin, Texas. She has also performed for Expressions and was included the anthology for the venue titled A Gathering Of The Poetry Tribes: Instant Anthology 2013. If you can’t already tell, Stephanie likes to be on stage, and in her spare time, when she isn’t immersed in writing or drawing, she is having wondrous adventures with her youngest kid, her boyfriend, and her friends — most likely cooking at least one meal in the process.