Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

501I didn’t really feel it, that first time headed south on I-95 out of Fredericksburg. Pretty quickly you get distracted by the big rigs and Jersey plates flying by. And how the sun starts out blasting your left eye, but eventually becomes a blast furnace on your left thigh, by the time you reach Fayetteville.

Once you get past the relentless chain of Pedro and the hookers’ come-ons to spend your pesos South of the Border, and you take the exit east onto 501 toward Marion and Conway, the pace slows and your heartbeats get pinned to the thup-thup of tires crossing the tar strips on the road toward The Strand.

The first time we crested that rise by the ash pond and saw the hazy blue Atlantic and the not-so-distant-now sparkling spires looking like some seaside Oz, traffic got gummed to a crawl. But the pulse in the car pumped back up to sixty-five again when the little ones started bouncing in the back seat, singing Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy.

I felt that.

Over at dVerse Poets Pub, my friend Shanyn Silinski is looking for work that somehow captures the rhythms of getting from here to there. Didn’t expect to be so wordy, my poems have been more commuters than world travelers these days, but this prose poem is what I felt all those years ago on our first trip to Myrtle Beach.

16 thoughts on “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

  1. This lovely piece took me back to my own childhood in the 50’s. Envision: mom & dad, 4 kids under the age of 7, plus grandma; a white Rambler stationwagon; no seat belts then. Trip took 2 1/2 days from Ontario, Canada to Daytona Beach, Florida. To this day I still love the sound of the thup-thup of tires.
    Thank you, Joseph for the walk down memory lane!

  2. A stirring accurate prose poem, full of facts & fancy, noises, sights, impressions; both bold & brave, brother; enjoyed the trip.

  3. I’ve traveled this route from up North stopping in Fredericksburg through Fayetteville all the way to John’s Island , SC. to help people renovate their homes. We were in a caravan of high schoolers (10 vehicles in all including the cargo van). Three springs of lifetime memories came flooding back when I read this. Thanks Joe.

  4. Mr. Hesch. I used to both “Like” and comment on your poems when I thought it appropriate to do so. As you have never returned the slightest bit of interest in my work and from what I notice in anyone else’s I am going to refrain form further reaction to your work. I understand you have many followers, lucky you. I had talked this over already with some senior members of the pub staff who understood my feelings. After which I hd decided to leave well enough alone. But I have a bug under my saddle about it and I find that without at least letting you know of my dismay at your lack of participation, which is in part a cornerstone for dVerse, I could not rid myself of the bad feelings /I have had from it. I have been taught that if you havea problem with something someone has done and don’t tell them your feelings then it is your problem. Now it is no longer my problem. >KB

  5. what a relief to feel like you are finally getting there…there is feeling in the arriving…esp when you are headed out on a vacation…
    i have travelled that road as well…south down through va into NC…i usually feel that first smell of salty air as well….

  6. There was something about this prompt that drove me to prose, too. I enjoyed the anticipation you built into this, the fun of nearing a well-loved destination…something I get to experience quite often and still feel like a kid.

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