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The Ballad of Bessie

August 1, 2014



Her story begins in the third week of May

As eight young adults gathered one Wednesday.

In Sacramento these strangers had a meet and greet

Before they went out into the streets.  


They called themselves Crossroads; their mission

To witness to the dignity and sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death.

These young people would walk from San Fran to DC;

Their home for the summer a humble RV.


Her exterior was adorned with pro-life stickers galore,

Her insides with religious icons from ceiling to floor.

Many years of walkers had wandered her halls,

Now Central Walk 2014 would live within her walls.


In keeping with tradition the walkers would give her a name.

They discussed and debated so it wouldn’t be lame.

After a few days it came to be:

For that summer she would be called Bessie.


“The Struggle Bus” some called her on the more difficult days,

And “Babymaker” in honor of the lives we would save.

Her twenty-eight feet were a home for us nine,

A place to hang out, eat food, and kill time.


She gave us a kitchen and a place to rest our heads.

Her coffee maker and cup noodles kept us well fed.

She traveled the mountains, the desert she reached.

In Nevada she parked by the number five “beach”.  


Her drivers were varied from redheads to blondes.

One hit a pole; the other drove on lawns.

In the desert one day a new driver was chosen:

Sean would drive her while her CD blasted Frozen.


Up a tall mountain in the heat of the day

Her engine overheated, much to our dismay. 

Alex chased lizards; Sean cooled her down,

Then they carefully drove her into the campground.


When morning came, Bessie’s key was turned

Smoke filled the campground and a boom was heard.

Bessie the Ford by a Chevy was towed.

We cleaned out the fridge and lightened her load.


“In a week you will see her,” Jason told us,

So we left behind the tents without any fuss.

One week passed, then two, then four,

And we worried we wouldn’t see Bessie anymore.


In motels and host homes we spent many a night.

Across from a prison we slept in fright.

Other vehicles served us now and again,

From Vandalia to LaShonda, from the Nissan to Ben.


For six weeks we waited, we hoped, and we prayed,

Then Alex got a call and told us, dismayed,

“Our worst fear has been realized,

Our dear friend Bessie has finally died.”


Rest in peace dear Bessie, you served us well.

Your story we will never neglect to tell.

With each bite of fast food and bed on the floor

We appreciate your cozy interior more.


On to DC we continue our trek

Our only regret is your majestic wreck.

Your explosion this summer at that high elevation

Served only to fuel our walk ‘cross the nation.


Central Walk 2014

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