I have—from time to time—
made it a habit of mine
to pick up those folks
that I see walking along the road.
I hope that it is without excessive gumption
that I make the assumption—
without first talking—
that they would prefer riding to walking.
Some of them were stranded
by some temporary trouble,
and some by longer term deprivation
or obligation beyond their means at the moment.
Some seemed a bit slow of wit and others just plain crazy:
one guy said he was going to climb a cottonweed tree
so he could take a nap
before slipping over the river that night into Missouri.
And, if you happen to take some notice of geography,
you might find some slight fun in knowing
about the one who was going to Minnesota or North Dakota,
by traveling east from Kansas.
On the whole, though, even with the ones
who appeared not to be exactly right behind the eyes,
I found they were—at least for a while—
headed in the same direction as me.
And that seemed—
regardless of clothes, hygiene or weather—
for us to travel together.