© Barbara Grace Lake 2015

The race was run between two men,
Two gorgeous, brawny, vital men,
The drivers of a souped up Ford,
A Cadillac Sedan de Ville.

The driver of the Cadillac
Locked rigid fists around his wheel
Demanding every particle
Or power his machine could give.

The other kissed a lucky piece,
A pair of baby shoes; he seemed
Indifferent to the lethal force
His set of wheels held over him.

Each driver sized the other man
For nerve enough to stay or quit
His car’s potential speed, control
To play their deadly game of skill.

The track lay through a city’s streets
To straight and lonely country roads,
Long asphalt tunnels guided by
A single line into the end.

There marked indelibly by black
Deposits, tattered bits of tread,
Dismembered wrecks of prior drags
Reduced to dusty pavement grey.

They jockey for position, first
The Cad in front and then the Ford
Shoots forward shrieking metal gears,
And acrid stench of burning tires.

The Caddie cuts the hotrod off
Spins out, recovers from the edge;
He skids then gains three cars ahead.
I win! Ha ha! I win! I win!

He didn’t see the Ford upend
Or know the paramedics came.
He didn’t hear the siren’s wail.
He didn’t see. He didn’t know.

His face showed only triumph, rage,
Still skidding, laughing, till a truck’s
Sheer mass recast his winner’s grin
Into a ghastly frozen mask.

The race was run between two men,
Two gorgeous, brawny, vital men,
Seduced by speed and winning through
Long asphalt tunnels to the end.