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Rivers and Roads by Matt Mason
published in Volume 6, Issue 1 on March 1st, 1999

--thanks to Stephen E. Ambrose

It may've been the 1800's,
but the roads Thomas Jefferson went down
were about the same
as those walked by Homer or Jesus or Ghengis.

Imagine, thousands of years
going overland or upriver
in wagons and canoes,
horseback and sailboats,

thousands of years
at this peak of transportation;

who could see it changing?
who could expect locomotives and steamships
just around the bend? And a couple years up from there,
747's, Harleys, and hovercrafts?

What kind of mind will look
for something so exhilarating,
so terrifying as climbing to the moon,
slaughtering the buffalo herds,

eating fresh pineapple and salmon for dinner;
what kind of mind is searching now

to cast these little minds behind us
and step forward?

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