Six Days On The Road
Dave Dudley dogged it but you never
let your log book get behind
and if it was blame it on a lousy
West Virginia three-way split
over mountain roads glazed with fear
gears grabbing the grades
by the collar to choke and throttle
steel teeth meshing, nerves frayed.
The load, Detroit V-Eight muscle, wheels
for everyone, two to a garage
seven on the trailer, swaying
on the curves, cinched down
by chains torqued tight, wind
keening through the links,
black smoke settling into hollar’s
like dark oaths sworn soft
in murmured prayer, gods
petitioned for the slow
death of Bob Patterson
neck tied bane of your existence.
Six days on the road, years
swallowed whole in the side views.