Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE INDIAN SIGN, by BERTON BRALEY

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THE INDIAN SIGN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Whenever I'm touring
Last Line: "detour!"
Subject(s): Tourists; Travel; Journeys; Trips

Whenever I'm touring
Broad highways
Or asphalted by-ways
Through countrysides sweet,
With motor that's humming
And thrumming
I know that
In time, as I go, that
I'm certain to meet
The sign that is legion whatever the region,
The sign that means language impure,
The sign that disperses your patience in curses;

Go round through a bog and a moor!
Go over a mountain, go down a ravine
And follow a rabbit's track over the scene;
Go ford a swift river—and ten miles beyond
Bump over a pasture and ooze through a pond;
Oh, this is a sign it is hard to endure

"Detour via Hicksville
To Cricksville
And Jaytown"
—Or some far-away town
That's not on the map;
And then when you get there
You're met there
With placards
That tell Fords or Packards
"Detour to South Yap!"
The roadways are racking, your bones all are cracking,
Your springs are deformed beyond cure,
You somehow keep driving—and find, on arriving

The landmarks grow fewer and fewer;
Detour over cowpaths, detour over sand,
Detour over trails that are seemingly planned
As mud-baths and swimmingholes, lost and uncharted.
You finally get to the place where you started!
Oh, this is the motorist's nightmare for sure,

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