highway 63

from by wildmen

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They say love conquers all, but tell that to the bank.


Well, there's three hundred clicks of asphalt south of Fort Mcmurray. Devil's on that highway, shift change Monday, shift change Thursday. House-sized coker ovens, single lanes of double-wides, we pass on the soft shoulders, we pass on double lines. And so I grind my teeth and my bumper sticker reads "Pray for me. I drive Highway 63."

Starts at Amber Valley. Suicide 63. I've lost some good friends there. Someday soon that might be me. But I ain't got no deathwish. No sir. I've got kids to feed. Just get me home to Edmonton to see my family. Screams out from the headlines, from the obituaries: Pray for me. I drive Highway 63.

And in my rear-view mirror, the devil's gettin' nearer. If I don't stay ahead, I'm sure I'll end up dead. After 21 days, he's itchin' for beer, pussy and cocaine, and we're all in his way - the lost souls of this place. Nights in camp, I can't sleep, 'cause these thoughts keep on haunting me: my truck turned on its roof. Tailing pond swimming pools. Wife with another man, one of these days my kids'll call him dad and we're all on this road, but I know where it goes.

"Pray for me. I drive Highway 63."

I ain't gonna end up just another roadside shrine. A hardhat on a cross. A vodka bottle on its side. I ain't got no death wish but I ain't go no degree and no stuffed shirt or union hall is looking out for me. So 'til I figure this one out, before my kids go to sleep, tell them to pray for me, while I drive Highway 63.


from oil sands, released August 4, 2016
David Schneider
John Davy
Echo Zoe



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wildmen regina, Saskatchewan

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