Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sheila Martindale

Volkswagon Song

Sheila Martindale
From: Negotiable Assets. (chapbook, Pierian Press, 1986).

You overtook me on the highway
and took me by surprise
I did not know you were behind me
until your eighteen-wheel transporter
roared by my left flank scattering
gravel dust-clouds and my complacency

For miles I was carried in your updraft
struggling to steer while being swept
dangerously near your loaded rig
my four cylinders spluttering
in the wake of your mega-powered engine

I hugged the road knowing that one touch
of our wheels would send me spinning
across the soft shoulder chassis over roof
into the ditch

When you pulled away
your red lights flashing in my eyes
diminished as they stretched
the growing distance between us
finally disappearing over the crest

Then I resumed my old pace
took control of my own steering
shaken and out of breath but
glad enough of solitude and space

And sometimes on my lonely night drives
the long haul between the cities of my life
I feel vibration on the tarmac
a slight shuddering of undercarriage
and think I hear in the rear distance
the portentous rumbling
of your approach

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