After 70, certainly 60, the parents have done
All the harm they can do.
It’s time to relax, time to see the world.
Spend some dough, especially when they have a ton.

After all, the building is finished. Get out
Before the rot sets in. It’s time to spend.
Find out what others have done,
See the damage caused by fanatics.
Pick through the ashes, tour the churches.

You love to travel.
The ugly turquoise suitcases and yours, too, in fuchsia.
Get in long lines and try out the smelly toilets.
Study the alphabet.
You’re a kid again in elementary, waiting
To be told what to do.

The cruise ship awaits, like a tomb stone in water.
Get away from it all; hit the waves.
Wait out the clock; kill time.
Everyone knows you have nothing better to do.

Best of all are the globs of food. My God, escargot by the shovel full.
Pudding served on a paddle, oodles of sirloin steak ice cream,
Au jeu, with horseradish, mustard and relish:
All of that with a cherry on top and fat-free.

Line up for a lick of this and a taste of that.
Elbow your way to the carving station.
Just remember to save room for the kangaroo.
Endless morsels can be had, served on the finest of china
With a smear of bottled mayo.

Home sweet home is what you dream about,
Especially after a bout of diarrhea.
The grandchildren are waiting for a hand out and a kiss.
Your daughter hates you but will be waiting at the station.
Her husband’s moved to Kansas City with his boyfriend.
The real awakening comes when you try to share the highlights
Of this year’s ordeal; everybody’s already been there.
Sammy knows Timbuktu like the back of his hand.
Delhi? Bahrain? Kyoto? Are you kidding? Lived there 45 years ago.
Better take your sushi to the grave.

So what in the end is all this travel for?
How many times must you visit Kennedy?
Isn’t 17 enough? Make it 24? My advice to you is to stay in New Jersey.
Learn to appreciate Delaware. Have the escargot in Cincinnati.
Seeing the world is great but try staying home and discover the familiar.

Image credit:Ryan Chia

David Lohrey is from Memphis. He graduated from UC Berkeley. His plays have been produced in Switzerland, Croatia, and Lithuania.  His poetry can be found in Otoliths, Tuck Magazine, and the Cardiff Journal. His fiction can be read in Storgy Magazine, Terror House, and Literally Stories. David’s newest collection of poetry, MACHIAVELLI’S BACKYARD, was published last year by Sudden Denouement Publications.