How to Get to My House

From Los Angeles, where I was born,
take the San Bernardino Freeway east
past San Gabriel, Glendora, Covina,
up the hill by Forest Lawn,
down into the traffic clumped
where the 210 joins the 10.
Turn on the radio if you like,
there’s quite a way to go.

Pomona, Claremont, Ontario.
Here, if you want,
you can turn off at the airport,
catch a flight to someplace else.
Fontana, Rialto, Bloomington.
You may not have noticed it
but the road has been climbing all the way.
That’s San Bernardino on the left.

You’re in Redlands now,
the climb is a little steeper.
Exit on the Yucaipa offramp.
Just over the bridge,
turn right on Highview.
Stay there through two marriages,
a divorce, a child custody suit,
a brain tumor and a mother
with Alzheimer’s.
Soon you’ll reach where I live.

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Ruth Bavetta

Ruth Bavetta

Ruth's poems have been published in Rhino, Rattle, Nimrod, Tar River Poetry, North American Review, Spillway, Hanging Loose, Poetry East, and Poetry New Zealand, among others, and are included in the anthologies Wait a Minute; I Have to Take off My Bra, Feast, Pirene’s Fountain Beverage Anthology, Forgetting Home and Twelve Los Angeles Poets. She's also published two books: Fugitive Pigments and Embers on the Stairs. A third book, No Longer at this Address, will appear soon.
Ruth Bavetta

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  • I love this poem. It’s not only a road map to a house, but to a life. Thanks for sharing it with us!