One Poem by Chris Atack

Graduation Day

A dead-eyed stranger thumbed us down
As we purred towards Graduation Day.
Talked of junkyards, redemption and age.
Grinned as we drove away.

Grad Day and the stranger receded.
Summer dazed in our vinyl lair,
Every day in the holy back seat,
We jazzed in sweaty prayer.

We revved so high that season,
Pushed the limits, roamed so far,
Our triumphant silvery high beams
Defeating the clawing dark.

We loved each other
So we said,
We loved that white-line fever.
“Just choose a road and hit the gas,
And we will ride forever.”

We lived for that, we wanted that,
With all our hearts we said.
But hearts, like cars, break down.
Too many miles,
Too many years
Left us stranded
On the sunset side of town.

Our jalopy, long abandoned,
Rusts in the brown junkyard grass.
Yet in shadowy dreams she pulls up to the curb
And the dead-eyed driver hints of a way
To bypass the junkyard of dreams,
Rewind the dashboard clock
To Graduation Day.


Chris Atack is a science writer specializing in medical subjects. He has published two SF novels as well as short stories and poems. He is a keen sailor, cross-country skier and a member of Canadian Auxiliary Coast Guard (Search and Rescue). Chris lives near Montreal with his wife and Maggie, the Iron Kitten.

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