This is the road
It is a ribbon running through the mountains
Glistening black in the rain, fading gray in the sunlight
Checked with yellow, edged in white
Swooping and diving between and around the mountains
Like a swallow homing forever.
The road carries me down into the valley
Into the shade of forest, dusky and dark,
Curving in the lowlands, trapped and winding,
Now, suddenly it flings me arching up, up, up into the heights
Floating on a ridge on the top of the world,
A patchworked world of fields and villages
Some intricate masterpiece quilted by skillful hands;
Along the sunlit crest the road flies until we twist and turn,
Turn down dizzying curves to reach the river
The brown, brown river running swollen from the rain.
The river and the road take me away, and the sun splashes
Through the canopy of wild trees, spilling flickering light on the road
As it moves along the woodlands
Past a pregnant goat grazing by the way, and a field of buffalo,
Past smoke rising gray against the blue and green,
And mountains upholding a bluing sky until a
Sudden flood of rain; and inside my pink raincoat and visor,
I become a kingdom of myself, a muffled, moving, pink kingdom.
But the rain ceases
And a sudden orange of blossoms bursts against the sodden sky
The road is not a ribbon.
It is a gray and yellow asphalt snake, and I am a beetle riding on its back.
(Inspired by my bike trip to Mae Hong Son today (and other trips similar to it)).