West Texas I-10, A Poem

West Texas I-10, A Poem

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AMY ONG

Dr. Doughty is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geography and the Environment UT. Author of a whopping ten books, Dr. Doughty has written on topics varying from nineteenth century feather trade to the introduction of armadillos into the American South. A doctorate of UC Berkeley, Doughty has taken his passion for geography abroad, traveling all over the globe to places like China, the Caribbean, and South America to conduct research on conservation efforts and man-made changes to the environment.

Doughty began and directed an annual summer program set in Oxford, England, where American undergraduate students could learn more about the British landscape. Doughty led the summer program with pride for twenty years and continued his promotion of cultural awareness by employing his fluency in Italian to teach the Geography of Italy and Religion in the Landscape at the Semester Program at Tuscany.

Fascinated with birds, Dr. Doughty has also extensively studied the relationship between birds and humans. In 2013, Doughty lectured on the sea birds in the Atlantic Ocean and the cultural history of Scotland while onboard a 17-day tour traveling from Norway to Scotland to Ireland. Doughty has also given lectures on the use of birds as icons at the Blanton Museum of Art, and in 2016, presenteda series of six lectures to the Austin Museum of Modern Art on the significance of “birds in art and literature.”

As of now, Dr. Doughty is currently hard at work with Matt Turner on the publication of his eleventh book, a book focusing on invasive species.

 

West Texas I-10

Robin Doughty

When you get a flat in Fort Stockton, they’ll pour water

over the right rear.  Check for bubbles coming from the tread,

even slap a soapy brush; study, like poker pros in Vegas,

in a manner detached, saying nothin.  Waiting

for the bubbles.  Then after not catchin any

one side or the other, they’ll fill her up. Tell you, God Bless

it’s free, but take the dollars you hand ‘em.

Further along, mebbe close to a hundred,

you’ll steer into a parking area

behind two big rigs, and dump stuff,

to scrabble in the trunk for the donut,

figurin how to put the jack together,

worryin as to how tight they powered the lugs,

and finally fix it on.  Its summer, too.

They’ll tell you in Ozona a dozen miles along,

that more water says its okay.  Not a bubble (don’t use inner tubes

these days), only thing is to buy a new tire cos

you don’t want to pull over in the next stretch,

and Mike’s place half a block probably has your size. 

Havin fixed a flat for a Sonora couple headed

on discounts for Colorado, Mike mumbles, “yeah

I got your size,” and rolls it inside, heaves onto a bench,

clangs about, watchin the rim.  Rolls out again.

“Ten dollars,” he sez, “needed a new plug

and these is Michelins, treads still good.”  And

you trust him for figurin what it was.  Damn he’s

well done it; them others back there said

it was fine as you handed

them somethin. 

Ten dollars gets you along to Sonora - still good,

and Junction after that. Then way into Louisiana

some three hundred further.  Ten dollars gives

you new peace of mind.  Cos you deserved a new tire,

but Mike had it figured, a leaky plug, and darn it he was right.

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