How Far Inn

they brought a psych to visit him
at seven years, in second grade
for his obsession with motels
that he was always drawing

the doctor graying overweight
with not much hair and too much beard
then asked him if he liked the signs
or was it something else

the little boy looked up and said
the stars and lights mean we can stop
and eat and maybe swim a bit
before we go to bed

the words are something we can read
there’s cursive and there’s printing too
so it’s like learning; that’s a thing
my parents seem to like

and as for the Gulf stations, those
are places Dad fills in his book,
and where we sometimes get a drink
from out of a machine

so do you travel in the car?
the doctor asked him searchingly,
yes every summer the boy said
we stay in these hotels

so these are home when we’re away
and still seem like they should be now
because when we are there, we’re
all together

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