Thursday, April 5, 2012

"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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