Long Ride Home


I enjoyed Zoom

time with Penny Kittle today and found her strategies so helpful! 

Long Ride Home 

Six Flags over Georgia, 1977
chain-clicking roller coaster
metal of the
Great American Scream Machine

shrieks of free-fall
cheeks flattened to face
against the wind,
angel wings threatened 

sticky sweetness of cotton candy
colorful quilt batting
scenting adolescent sweat
church youth group trying every chaperone’s nerves 

three-striped Adidas and jeans
with ruler-sized pocket combs
protruding from back pockets
worn proudly
leaving a statement behind
mine, orange with purple letters:
“Back Seat”, a pre-GPS indicator 

T-shirt booth with vinyl iron-on transfers
like warm dough fresh out of the dryer
I picked silver-glittered
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
on a black shirt – for the Friday night roller skating rink hangout
with a drop off and pickup line like school 

and almost held hands with Don W. but picked Bobby S. instead
my preacher dad a chaperone
finding out 

my fortune cookie warning:
A long ride home is in your future.

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