Bumper To Bumper On A Logging Road During A Storm

Rain falls on pine trees, gathering among the needles
becoming fat drops that fall with a thunk, thunk, thunk on my roof

Between the swishing blades of my windshield wipers I see a blurry form walking up to my driver’s side window. I crack it open and listen.

“He still wants to.”
I can hear fear in his voice.
“-don’t do it, though.”

We are up high in the dark, and our headlights are the only ones for miles.
Back in town, I had been challenged.
“You’re not a driver unless you’ve done this course.”

I can’t back down now. I roll my window back up, and take position.

Wait for the signal.


First to second to third by then the first turn jumps out of the dark
his lights brake
my front lights reflect off his bumper

hairpin turn and our cars go sideways at the same time
I kick back in
so does he
engines and tires scream as I pull ahead
hard left to shallow right
my shaky hands and feet keep tight control

he tries to catch up
but the last turn throws him off
and into a tree

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