Thrill Ride

Image source: WikiMedia Commons

once a year, we played hooky, you and I,
calling out sick from work on a warm spring day,
skipping off in search of the ultimate thrill ride,
a coaster to speed back to yesterday, to cotton candy
and bumper cars and a lifetime more years to ride.

we loved the coasters, especially old woodies,
the clackety, clackety, clack of anticipation
as our coaster cart and our hearts climbed to the pinnacle,
                coaster cart and heart 
and years gone by…  


taking our stomachs with them.

we always sat up front and center, you and I,
in the first seat of the front cart, arms high in the air
with nothing before us but the edge of time, the abyss
between now and a forever of yesterdays filled with
coasters and  bumper cars, fried dough and tummy aches.

I don’t know about you, my love, but I don’t eat cotton
candy or fried dough any more, or aim thundering bumper
cars,not deliberately anyway, and sadly, I admit it, I don’t 
see you anymore either, and I don't ride coasters, not even
woodies, not after that last time when we hopped on a
coaster that would take us backwards, and it did... literally.

it didn’t work the way we wanted it to and we were no 
younger after than we were before. it was scary and 
sickening, and the scariest thing of all was that when we 
got off, the young whooping in glee all around us, we felt 
older than ever before. that’s when I stopped seeking 
thrill rides because my heart just can’t take any more.


Written for dVerse Poet's Pub, where the prompt on Poetics is "Fun Fair."


  1. much emotions in this patti....loved what you did with the font...the plunged...great...and i feel my stomach plunging just by reading it.. sad that it didn't work out the way you hoped it would...a fine and felt write patti

  2. I like the plunging from happy memories to the backward coaster ride, making you older and sad. Nice write Patti ~

  3. Oh, I felt my heart almost go up into my mouth at the 'plunge'
    So cleverly done Patti. All the highs and lows, the trills of the ride and then the break up of love and fearing the rides as we age and realise, we can get seriously HURT on those things too.
    Loved this read!

  4. i love the woodies....i cant do the backward one though...the rebel yell at kings dominion is backward...did it once...ugh...nice how you tied that in as well to a relationship...did think it was sweet about hookie though...i need to play hookie for nookie again...

  5. The projection of the plunge was a nice touch and perfectly placed, excellent pace, ups and downs, metaphors, this one really is broad in scope. Great read. Thanks

  6. What has happened to the world we once knew? Maybe it has not changed as much as I think. All us Peeps still think we each have the 'answer'...and we do NOT. We think we know all about God, and the Universe...and we do NOT!

    Guess things haven't changed so much, after all. But those roller-coaster critters have sure broken MY sound barrier.

    Still go to the fair, to eat Italian sausages $5 each. And Elephant Ears. and visit the cattle auctions, and other stuff--BUT! No more 'coasters' for THIS old guy!

  7. Lots of double meanings laced into this one--the Fair isn't always fun, and the ride isn't always a thrill, that's for sure. The metaphor at the end works really well.

  8. fun memories.

    i like the slippery slope of the words in the middle there...

    /roller coaster of dysfunction

  9. with nothing before us but the edge of time,

    I wonder if it didn't work the way you wanted - more than you realised. Excellent.

  10. That bitter-sweet moment when the young smile politely and you know they'll never know what you experienced

  11. This packs a sweet punch. My heart can't take it anymore, either.

  12. Now my grandson wants me to go with him! Good capture of aging through this lens.

  13. Fantastic writing. WOOSH!!!!!! I felt both the ride and the metaphor for the plunging years. And, especially, I felt the "my heart just cant take it any more." I hear you, sistah!!!!

  14. Excellent job!

    Loved this particularly,
    "a coaster to speed back to yesterday, to cotton candy
    and bumper cars and a lifetime more years to ride."

    though I imagine time offers other chances to joy in the fair, even in watching younger generations take it all in for the first time!

  15. Awww....I didn't thrill ride much when I was young but sometimes feel I'm on a downward spiral. Personally, I like ups and downs...helps me appreciate the ups

  16. I had a German boss who called himself a spaetlese teenage, a late harvest teenager. He wanted to be. But he wasn't. I don't agree that we should 'act our age' but don't think we should try to be something we aren't. Nowadays, I thing my life is spent on the dodgems.

    Nicely captured.

  17. is the backwards roller coaster some sick invention of Ray Bradbury?

  18. Sad, nostalgic, and emotionally intense. Well done.

  19. There was a sense of plunging with this one, in both a physical and emotional sense. Love your layout and rhythm. And the little poignant edge!

  20. This is wonderful, Patti; and oh, so true. Love the nostalgia in the piece.


  21. This is so poignant. So many lines in here that almost make my heart ache. It's the kind of piece the reader wants to know exactly what the writer was referring to and if it represents something or someone real but hidden in the lines. But the reader is torn because it means something to the reader about time, and love, and loss, and rides, and things that we once did that we no longer do and we all have our reasons.


  22. PS. I agree with Tom in some respect. I did think as I read this would make an amazing sci-fi story! Think Twilight Zone :).


Thoughts? I would love to hear from you.