Rolling© By Bob Shallenberger

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Grav­el hides on the wind­ing asphalt as the curve looms inno­cent. Signs stream togeth­er, red and orange blur with­out warn­ing. Rub­ber clench­es, grasps, releas­es and repeats — eleven times. Tracks swirling behind, the strik­ing met­al skates in rhythm. Expert reflex­es turn to anx­ious pan­ic pro­vid­ing no relief or hope. End over end the rub­ber and steel bang. The tires touch …

The Merry-Go-Round© by Bob Shallenberger

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Sun-bleached dreads striped by home­spun bands, tou­sled and mud­dled from the resilient north plains wind. Long beards tat­tered, pep­pered white and gray. Tat­tooed skin, red from the Dako­ta sun. Bifo­cals plas­tic, thick and brown. Tee shirts fad­ed mauve and sage. Shoes pale, old and tat­tered. Sweat­pants frayed from count­less miles and myr­i­ad hours train­ing, cir­cling the oblong track. Radios pinned …