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0 Comments | Jan 07, 2015

The Long Ride

I back out from the garage,

and there he sits,

bigger’n life, perched

in the middle of my windshield.

Six legs, carapace

the color of molasses

glistening in the evening sunset.

But, rather than brush him off,

send him on his way,

I opt for blood sport.


At five miles per hour

he is unimpressed,

walks mockingly from one side

to the other, a sprinter

stretching out

before the gun fires.


At ten it’s still

just a joke.

He lifts two legs at me, defiant,

stares through the glass.

Is that all you’ve got?


But at twenty, suddenly

the game is afoot.

All six legs, now firmly planted,

bow in a bit,

lowering his body

into the narrow safety

of the boundary layer.


At thirty he hangs on

with verve, though to what

is a mystery.

He pivots to face uphill,

drawing the laminar airflow

around his natural contours.


Nearing forty,

his grip is now

the stuff of miracles,

tiny feet on a sheen of glass.

I ponder tapping the wiper.

Yet he remains.

Is that a grimace?

I push harder on the pedal.


At fifty his legs tremble visibly.

I focus my gaze on his shivering body.

A mile passes,

then another,

but I do not see the road,

nor recall my errand.

I am compelled now

to measure his worth.

For me it is a gauntlet

thrown down.

For him it is interstellar travel.


Five more minutes,

then ten.

I pull into a gas station,

and he, unmoved, relaxes

his grip as I draw to a stop.


I shut off the engine,

no sound

but the tick tick of cooling.

I watch as gossamer wings unfold,

stretch briefly.

Then he rises, glances my way,

and flies away without a word,

to start

what must surely be

a whole new life.


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