Big Indian by Guinotte Wise

Big Indian

Blue and loud as hell
had a spark advance
bear trap clutch rode
it on the gravel roads
all dust and devil care
behind and wind ahead
rode it up to Charlie’s
road house parked it
proudly by the door
had a beer and played
the juke box what the
hell had several more
darkness snuck up on
the day, still hot out
on those gravel roads
and I was full of fight
and fire, had no cares
that would impede me
kicked that Indian in
to life and power like
a locomotive in the
night, all the lights
on heraldic bright
and revved it loud
so night would hear
me, squirreled a
circle in the lot
threw some gravel
rode to town and
slowed to thirty
at the timing strips
they laid out for me
for revenue they
said but not from
me and Big Indian
drunk or sober won’t
get shit from me I
see the cop lurks
at the Sixty-six
behind the pumps
closed now and
dark he sits and eats
pistachios one by
one the pile of shells
outside his window
radio crackles now
and then but he
don’t answer he
don’t like the new
inventions except
his timing strips
the judge accepts
them quicker than
his stopwatch so I
hear I hit them
strips with my Ford
two weeks ago and
slammed on the
brakes at eighty plus
shredded strips and
done a nice one eighty
got away before he
shut his open mouth.
But tonight I ride by
polite and he has
new strips laid out
speed limit is thirty
five I ride by at a
sedate old lady
thirty. Pile of shells
grows higher. I am
wobbling from the
beer. Shit. Red lights.

Guinotte WiseGuinotte Wise writes and welds on a farm in Resume Speed, Kansas. His short story collection (Night Train, Cold Beer) won publication by a university press and not much acclaim. Three more books since, the latest a collection of poetry titled Scattered Cranes, published by Pski’s Porch, 2017. His wife has an honest job in the city and drives 100 miles a day to keep it.

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