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James W Cotton

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Speeding, A Journey Through Life
by James W Cotton
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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Recent poems by James W Cotton
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I scratched this together after an incident that unfortunately, most of us have gone through at some time or another in life... getting pulled over and hoping we could talk our way out of a speeding ticket. I thought about all the different reasons why we drive fast, and the excuses we give. The 'journey through life's stages' theme is a bit cliche, but this might be kind of entertaining. Hope you enjoy it...

"Speeding, A Journey Through Life"
Just turned sixteen, got to borrow the car
Went out with my best girl, but didn’t get too far
Told my dad be home by eleven, now it’s twelve fifteen
Hurry back to the home front to the battle scene
But in the rear windshield is that horrid sight
The flashing lights atop a California Black and White…
Hey mister Highway Patrol
I know it’s just your job to try and slow my roll
Coming home from a date, and I lost track of time
Didn’t notice the red needle pass the fifty five
I just turned sixteen, just got a license to drive
If I come home with a ticket my old man’ll skin me alive
You were once young , so you should know…
Would it be too much to ask if you let this one go?
 
Gone off to college in a distant town
Both on the road and off, trying to learn my way around
Calculus midterm, physics lab and it’s all a bit scary
And I’ve got three videos and a book to get back to the library
Barely enough time for sleep, meals or showers
Cramming three days worth of functions into twenty four hours
Part time jobs, school clubs, the occasional date or two..
Look in the rearview mirror, see the RED and BLUE…
Here’s my license, registration and proof of insurance
University life’s about speed, diplomacy and endurance
I know this road is thirty, I did forty three
I’m just trying to make it work so have some mercy on me
Just paid the rent, payday’s a week away
Already got too many bills to pay
Hard to get to court, got class in the morning
Any chance you could just let this one go as a warning?
 
I’ve been rather patriotic since the day I was born
So I’m spending a few years wearing the uniform
My ship’s out in Norfolk, but I’ve been partying in Richmond
And speeding back to base was something I’ve never shunned
Should have seen it coming, just to say the least…
Trouble’s brewing up there in the Middle East
Leave’s been cancelled, we’ve been recalled back to the ship
So down I-64 for a rapid trip…
Virginia’s finest rides me down near Newport News
Pulls me to the shoulder, clocked me at eighty two
With a purpose he comes striding to the driver’s side
Just let whatever’ll happen, ain’t no way to hide
Officer, I know you served your country before
So you can understand our country’s GOING TO WAR
They want us back to the docks sometime inside of the hour…
Could you be patriotic this time, I know you’ve got the power
 
A job, a wife, three kids, and my ass is dragging
Carting all of life around in a big station wagon
Monday Cub Scouts, Tuesday Soccer, Wednesday’s PTA
Karate practice, fund raisers, something every day
One’s got a 4H meeting at the Grange Hall on Long Valley Way
Another’s selling Girl Scout Cookies at the Safeway
Doesn’t seem like much, but it’s worse than it may sound
Both of these places on opposite ends of town…
Making up the time through a residential neighborhood
Youngest in the car with me, it doesn’t look good
Fifteen is the limit, I’m doing thirty six

Remember back to my youth, I still have a couple tricks...
Didn’t realize the speed of which through here I passed
Got produce and ice cream in a bag melting fast
Just got one kid at a meeting, taking another to…
Activities at one thirty, but it’s now a quarter to two
Officer, you seem to be a family man
Doing more than you’re supposed to, but not as much as you can
Trying hardest to teach your youngest the right from wrong
But this time, it would mean much if this ticket were gone…
 
Making a long haul living pulling freight
Thousands miles a year along the Interstate
Pushing for the extra miles, and the extra loads
Seen just about every mile of this country’s roads
Interstate Commerce and the D.O.T.
Want us to keep our hours in one logbook, so I’m carrying THREE!
Distance, rate, time, the mathematical question
Means the speed limit merely is just a speed SUGGESTION…
Ohio truck speed limit is just fifty five
But that’s just a crawl to what everyone else can drive
Push it just a little past that number, up to sixty three
And attract the wrong kind of attention just north of Cincinnati…
Ohio State Police…
Keep the commercial licensed crowd down on their knees
It’s just about the fine, the money, they always win it
Three hundred dollar ticket, just eight over the limit
Didn’t even realize that I was going that fast
You came after just me, what about all those others who passed?
You know that’s quite a downgrade, and I’m saving my brakes
I’ll try fighting this injustice, whatever it takes…

Kids are grown up, they have kids of their own
Wife has long since passed, now I live here alone
Had a few good jobs, too many years to mention
But all that’s left of them is a gold watch and a pension
Not the kind to sit still in these autumn years
Not too fond of wallowing around in tears
There’s only one thing to do that I know
Trade in the four door Buick…for a fully restored GTO
Feeling young and virile, still very alive
Screw the traffic laws, just can’t drive 55
Radio is blasting, got the foot to the floor
Illinois trooper clocks me at ninety four…
Old man like me should know better, so true
But if you had a 409 under the hood, what would you do?
Just enjoying Detroit’s finest work in the wind and the sun…
An old man is entitled to that last little bit of fun…

 

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Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 9/30/2013
Haven't had the 'pleasure' of getting stopped for speeding ... now, expired inspection sticker and no proof of insurance? Yes. Once. LOL Enjoyed reading this one, James. Well done.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Karen Palumbo 4/23/2009
Oh this is just precious and carries a life with it throughout. Yes, I would imagine we have all been there a time or two, expressed with such inner emotion...

Be always safe,
Karen
Reviewed by Chantilly Lace (Reader) 4/23/2009
Very nice writing ..enjoyed very much dear man..stay safe and well..Hugss
Reviewed by Will Bates 4/22/2009
James, That was a lot of fun to read. Thanks, Will



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