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.

6 replies on “Nantucket Sleigh Ride”

Hi Michael,

You had me on the edge from the beginning to the end, this ride was indeed an adventure. So glad you were alright and the policeman “let you be”. The voice in this piece and the rhythmic pace are in wonderful unison.So well done!!

Much enjoyed this!

Liked by 1 person

Thank you Wendy. The policeman had stopped, but when I started back on the road he did not come back after me. Considering I missed hitting him by less than a foot, I was very grateful I didn’t have to confront him.


Thank you Sarah. As soon as I was certain my slide had stopped, I drove carefully back on the road again so he wouldn’t come over to see about me. He probably figured I had learned my lesson.


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