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September 18, 2023

Rubber Bumpers

By Sterling Warner

Rubber Bumpers

Long poles reach wired grids
in ceilings overhead converting
electric to kinetic energy
bumper cars driven
by wide-eyed children and laughing adults;

       always the kid caught in the middle
       I’d spin in circles as squads of dodgems—
       friend and foe alike—act out road rage
       take aim at my floundering vehicle
       press accelerator pedals
       to their floorboards, pick up speed,
       and slam into my rubber bumper…
       paralyzed, lightning bolts crackle and hiss;

fiendish squeals echo aggressive delight
throughout the bumper-car pavilion
mixing high-frequency music tapping
with shouts, cries, howls and snickers
generating a spontaneous libretto
responding fortissimo to the carnival ride.

Article © Sterling Warner. All rights reserved.
Published on 2023-08-07
Image(s) are public domain.
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