“Taking a ride to hell, boy,” he said. “Come with?”
– Bud Jackson – in memory (’47 Indian Chief)
After the war he’d won her in a card game.
He’d ridden her for years and years
before they knew she was a classic.
He pulled her out into the sun one day.
Magic. Special. Like a goddess. Sleek.
This was it. What he’d been led to believe.
The old man eyed him up and down.
Said, “Son, you don’t even look man enough.”
I turned. My red beard on fire like an Ogre.
Then I saw his eyes change. Brighten.
Realized he’d been kidding. Joking.
I sat down in that leather seat. Amazing.
He unhooked the coach. Said, “Start ‘er up!”
I did just that, and kicked her in gear.
Said, “Mind?” He laughed, “Be my guest!”
I slipped her into cruise, ran shod across the dirt.
Got to the highway and let her rip. Dust behind.
Nothing but nothing for miles. Wind and Sky.
Took it to the top of Bear Mountain. Sat there, purring.
Everything was right. Wings, whiskey, and babes.
Lit up a stogie. Smiled. Made my way back to town.
Asked the old man how much. He frowned, then laughed.
I got her in a poker match in ’47. Let’s flip.
It was a bright silver dollar. Landed heads up. I’d won.
“Bit of advice from an old biker,” he said. “Don’t let the devil ride.”
– Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.