Nantucket Sleigh Ride

Late on a snowy day a few years back,
I was driving my minivan to work.
Just ahead the road crossed a railroad track
and curved right, a place for trouble to lurk.

I thought I had made it across just fine
when the last rail gave my rear tires a bounce
just as I turned; the back jumped out of line
and slid as though it did not weigh an ounce.

It was heading for a yard-deep ditch.
I steered left hard, barely getting away.
I am certain my right tire tried to pitch
over, but I wasn’t done riding that day.

Now I slid across to the other side
as a police car passed in front of me.
A turnoff street was the end of my glide
and the policeman, bless him, let me be.

– – – – – – – –

When New England whalers in longboats harpooned a whale, they often had to hang on until the whale tired. This was called a “Nantucket Sleigh Ride.” Thus my title here.


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