A California Whine

My reason for traveling cross-country by car in 1996 was that I had 6 cases of wine that I just couldn’t bear to part with. Unfortunately, the only way to transport wine out of Virginia back then was to be a distributor. Nobody would take it, and it probably would have spoiled anyway. So…I decided to bring it with me in the car. As I approached the California border, I had a little fantasy about what I would say at the obligatory “fruit inspection,” and this outburst summed up the whole trip.

Last poem in the collection, Road Noise.

A California border hack.
She wants to know what fruits I’ve packed.
I count the cases, look in back,
Think of mileage…fucking crack!

“Just fifty thousand grapes, I think!
That sacrificed themselves for drink,
And ride with me so they don’t spoil
Invalidating endless toil.”

“Save for wine, I’d come by plane,
Which would’ve probably kept me sane.
Instead, I slogged across the land,
The god-damned wine, it’s trip was grand!”

© 1996 William Herndon, All Rights Reserved
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