People along the way

Going half-way across the country
Thousands of faces flash by
In rest areas, attractions, streets, businesses.
Some of them stand out
For one inexplicable reason or another.

Shuffling from their SUV,
A family heads to the Lone Star
Leaning at the Sabine River Rest Area
Standing in front of thick gray clouds
So they can take each other’s picture.

Far from Hessen, in the Hill Country
German cuisine is served in a frontier house.
For a moment her native language
Floats in the air amid the Texan drawls
As it used to not so long ago.

Praying silently in the cathedral
With arms stretched along the railing
Her daughter converses as well
Discretely, impatiently speaking
Into her I phone.

Couple of our approximate age
Unhappy at everything
She fusses at restaurant hostess
Then unleashes a torrent of spite
At his day-long negativity.
Later I intentionally walk by them
As he slowly eats while she
Sits clutching her elbows
Not even caring to look at him.

From several feet away from the fountain
Tawny-tressed girl and mother standing.
Daughter appears to want a drink but refuses an offer

As her mother expresses her thanks anyway,