John Drury: “Round Up”


We rode our bikes to the amusement park

built by a trolley company. Glen Echo

blessed our summers, especially in the dark

when strings of white lights emphasized Art Deco

curves and lines, cool breeze rising like high tide.

Done with the rickety roller coaster, we ran

downhill to the Round Up, our favorite ride,

and stood in cages as it rose and spun.

An illustration of centrifugal force,

the ride gave physics lessons with the thrill

of blast-off pressure on our chests. Of course,

only the back wall’s metal mesh could quell

the body’s impetus to fly away—

wild boys, bewildered, tearing off each day.

John Drury’s most recent book of poems is Sea Level Rising (Able Muse Press, 2015). He teaches at the University of Cincinnati.

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