Friday, April 20, 2007

For Chris

For Chris, A Racer

The rider who died went off in turn 8

A fast, constant radius right hand sweeper

At Willow Springs

That you take at over one hundred miles per hour


It was a novice heavyweight race

but he was no novice


in a fight for first

he and his competition

may have tried to out brake each other

or they may have been blown off course

by the wicked hot wind

they ran off into the dusty desert

his competition dismounted his ride

and tumbled through rock and sand and grit

but he did not

and he hit the wall

that lines the track perimeter

at a sufficient speed

to catapult him over a six foot high fence

and approximately twenty feet into the air

he broke his C1 vertebrae

(which is a recipe for paralysis)

and less than a day later

he was taken off of life support

as his brain showed

insufficient signal

and he was allowed to die


There is some solace

that his last thoughts

were fast ones

so he now rests

among racers

from all the ages

in a place where there is naught

but swiftness and skill

and charioteers and pilots and riders

chase lightning

wrestle hurricanes

and sprint against thunder claps


We will think of him

When the wind cracks its whip

at us, riders

And blasts its air cannon

Across Willow Springs


Speed you to

your eternal rest

Chris McCauley

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