Sycamore Speedway

On humid summer nights, we would sit around the dirt
and watch public works workers spin wheels and fling mud.

The stands, half-surrounding the track and the United States
Postal Serivce employees who once needed a hobby but now don’t.

Seventy to ninety, but never over one hundred fans,
sitting and standing to see the wheels—all in motion.

Back ends tailed out and bumpers were scuffed.
Green paint chipped away, layers of red brushed on by a Civic.

Breathing exhaust and gasoline fumes never had appeal until then.
The figure eight race at nine promised metal crunching and smoke with flame.

The click of the pump and the halt of petrol, the beeps and receipt spitting out
return me to the Shell or BP or Chevron, to the rain, the traffic intersecting.

My tank is now full, but my pocket is empty.
The station glares in my eyes like the track lights.

Thomas Boyd is a junior at Western Illinois University, in Macomb, Illinois. His major is English Literature; his minors are Creative Writing and Professional Writing. His writing has appeared in Elements literary journal.

© Copyright Thomas Boyd 2012