Roadside Poems

Coffees from Around the World

Poems from an RV Road Trip Across Nebraska by Amy Haddad

Amy always talked about renting an RV and driving across Nebraska but never did until the summer of 2020 during the pandemic. She thought this would be the perfect time to take this trip since most hotels and restaurants were closed across the state. She bought some coffee pods for the trip that featured drawings on the lid from far away places. Each morning, Amy decided to write a short poem inspired by the landscape at the campsite where they hooked-up the RV each night and the image on the pod lid. The poems are a mash-up of the differences and similarities between the far-off coffee locales and the state they were exploring. Nebraska, it turned out, was as exotic and beautiful as a foreign country to Amy even though she lived here all her life.

Day 1

The first day they drove through Broken Bow on their way to the campsite at Victoria Springs. The coffee was from Guatemala.

Day 2

The second day they stopped at the Nebraska National Forest, the largest hand-planted forest in the world, Carhenge in Alliance, and Chimney Rock. They spent the night at Lake Minatare. The morning was clear and still. Kenya coffee helped them wake up.

Day 3

On the third day, they drove to Fort Robinson. It was so hot, the air shimmered. Everyone was hiding out in their RVs. The coffee was from Colombia.

Day 4

Day four took them to South Dakota with lots of sites to see like Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial and beautiful green, cool Custer State Park. They had one unplanned stop near Buffalo Gap, South Dakota for a cattle-drive right across Highway 71 with real cowboys on horses and in 4 X 4s. The morning started with coffee from Honduras at Legion Lake amid pine trees.

Day 5

The last night of their RV trip took them to Valentine and the Outlaw Trail on the Niobrara River. It was 100 degrees that day and didn’t cool down at all at night. They were the only campers at Lake Merritt, the only RV they saw. The coffee from Hawaii.