Gunning the Engine

By Ann Bennett

Driving home I notice it’s fall:
Curling leaves of summer, bare oak branches;
There’s drought too; the quick year is old too soon.

I lean hard on the horn at the blind curve,
Gun the engine, slam the clutch,
Throw myself back in the seat

I remember lifting off the runway, learning to fly,
Focused on the instruments
Rather than the sky ahead.
TO THE WALL, my teacher said,
Push it all the way

Is it too late for that?
Ignore these aching knees—
Push hard
Take the uphill hairpin fast,
Roll the steering wheel left
Ease off,
but barely.

Daughter of a military family, Ann Bennett grew up in many places, and now calls Santa Barbara her hometown, having lived here more than half of her life. She has written poetry off and on for most of her life, but rarely shared. She is delighted to be included here. Also by this poet: "Swallowed"