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 down then release as
the hood, then roof take on the pave­ment.
A flash of silence breathes
before the ham­mer­ing thrusts repeat.
Over and over again.
Plung­ing over the cliff,
the hor­ri­fy­ing trip near­ly over.
Smok­ing twist­ed steel

meets soil and rock,
sol­id and unyield­ing while
soft, wet ground gen­tly
catch­es the air­borne body.
Crushed bones abound as
blood drench­es the mud­dy skin.
Tan­gled body bare­ly alive in a ditch
a hun­dred yards away.
Life saved by a stranger’s ter­ror, call.
Rush­ing to extend life,
time beats slow­ly.
Con­science fades with each fright­en­ing breath.
Rac­ing through the air,
the dead­line nears.
Saved in time
by the grace of God.

by Bob Shal­len­berg­er

Rolling© By Bob Shallenberger

The poet Bob Shal­len­berg­er

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