Monday, September 19, 2011

"The Ride" The World's Steepest Roller Coaster

We stand together, our eyes fixated on the ride ahead   
The interminable line snakes before us, but we enter anyway   
Attracted by the lure of excitement and risk   
Waiting with false patience for our future,   
we sing, tell stories, people watch—   
Pushing aside insecurities and fears with jokes   

One step forward, one step forward, one step forward   
until we stand at the gateway   
We feel the ground tremor, hear the hiss of breaks   
Too late to turn back now, too late for second thoughts   
The harness clamps us into space   
bare feet dangle, trying to find purchase in the sky   
We trust technology,   
shove aside panic; focus upon anticipation and thrill   

Velocity throws us headlong     
We twist, turn—upside down, sideways, backwards   
Screams and laughter bend with the momentum   
Our muscles constrict in tension   
Our stomachs slide into our throats   
Our heads explode with pressure   
But there’s no getting off this ride   
We have to see it through   

Eyes clenched tightly closed while fingers grip the bars   
we survive the first onslaught and prepare for the second   
Uncontrollable laughter bubbles out—   
floats on the manufactured winds of speed   
Peaking eyes open, we see the end is near   
Triumph whoops   
Fists punch air   

Teasing each other over our doubts,   
we regain footing on the platform   
where we dance with victory,    
we celebrate our survival   
Overlooking headaches and nausea,   
we look for the entrance of the next ride   

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

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