I'm a listener (and subscriber) to WNYC public radio in New York. April was poetry month, and when I head another listener reading his poem, I figured, why not. The topic was Consequences and the listener's poem, by the way, was about seeing a tortoise crossing the road while he was on his morning bike workout, and on his return seeing the tortoise squished – the consequence of him not stopping to help.
So I sent in this poem and they responded with a request for an audio file to play on the air. I don't know if that happened but here it is.
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If I hadn't read Jack Kerouac in my English teens
And if hitchhiking hadn't been a nightmare in LA 50 years ago
I wouldn't have been headed east into the desert instead of south to Mexico
I wouldn't have built a raft with a fellow hitcher and floated down the Colorado River
I wouldn't have continued on to stare in awe into the mindblowing vastness of the Grand Canyon
I wouldn't have hiked to the bottom and met a bunch of crazy beat Californians
I wouldn't have been asked if I had some kind of schedule to keep
I wouldn't have joined them on a 2-month scamper around the canyons of the Colorado plateau
I wouldn't have them as friends today – and I wouldn't have become an American