Before our births, void of choice, we became part of the story,
During our lives, with a choice, we can't escape the story,
After death, abandoned choice, the story continues to seep.
- Andrew Mansell

In Reverse

Photo by Mitch Hemming

Dad with control turns the key,
Wriggle my way, I need to see,
On his bony knees able to steer,
Pushed away as I try to gear.
Dad’s eternity business trip,
Mum in need of a pokie hit,
Relentless mates break my resolve,
Into the garage smirks evolve.
Out of control, I turn the key clean,
Heart thumping like the V8 machine,
Cheers and jeers the reversing light,
Felled the letterbox, stricken with fright.
Endless numbing lessons later,
Mostly on the accelerator,
Celebration, passed the test,
Greet the tar, pigeoned chest.
Breeze streaming my teenage hair,
The power to go anywhere,
Dad says be careful, so does mum,
At last my desire,  I succumb,
Off to party, country air bellows,
Trees reach through open windows,
Yellow signs become a blur,
Gravel road conks the engine purr.
Awoke, broken black and blue,
Shattered by my dreams untrue,
On my plaster cast mates scribble,
Driving too fast and other dribble.
Meekly into the garage now,
My little son steers, I allow,
Be careful I say, ingrained fear,
Don’t you dare touch the gear.

Andrew Mansell, November 2010


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