The Gift by Richard J Whiting

Submitted by R J Whiting on Tue, 27/09/2016 - 19:30

the gift

         when opened revealed
         straights, great curves,
         a transformer
         with which to fire
         a child’s mind.
         A living-room Le Mans
         pressed from polystyrene,
         controls clutched nervously,
         squeezed erratically;
         the back-sliding, broad-siding
         fizz and whirr of cars,
         their stoic, zombie drivers
        (mine is Graham Hill) waiting
         for my mastery to come.

         The delicious smell
         of electricity and success;
         adding a cross-over and chicane,
         rising to meet their challenge,
         demanding more speed
         to match my skill.
         Squeeze. squeeze
         until the merest touch
         of fender upon fender
         sends my cartwheeling Lotus
         across acres of Axminster,
         rolling uncontrollably
         into a merciless wall
         of skirting-board,
         Pure Brilliant White (no tyres).

In the space between
clearing the wreckage
and finding the faded box
in my parents’ attic,
a life. Mine.
More complex by the day,
bodywork decayed,
a lifetime of shunts, reversals
and still the arrogant belief
that I’ve mastered it all.

I set up the track.
It still works!
I crash
on the opening bend.

Copyright © 2016 Richard J Whiting

Read Where
Poetry Aloud, Bay Tree Café, Bury St Edmunds