Features
Poetry Contest Winners
From classical to free verse, sonnets to haiku, you sent your best trucking poems

When we announced our poetry contest months ago, we thought we might receive a hundred or so entries. Imagine our surprise when the Aug. 1 entry deadline rolled around and we had more than 500 poems to judge.

Not only did the sheer number of entries catch us off guard, but the remarkable sincerity of the verse and free-form prose we received caused our judges to insist on an “honorable mention” category so that we could share more than just the top winners with our readers.

The judges also decided that the top four poems should be recognized, rather than only the top three, as was our original intent.

Also, after an initial review of the entries, the judges asked Managing Editor Sandi Soendker for permission to create a separate division for entries from youngsters.

She agreed, so be sure to watch upcoming editions of Land Line Magazine to find out who won top honors in our 18 and younger division. LL

 

First

The Last Load

By David R. Madill

Alone out in the trailer yard he crumpled to his knees

Tried so hard to get his breath and whispered, “Not here please”

Pain blurred his vision as he opened up the door

One hand reached for the wheel and he gasped, “Just three feet more”

He collapsed into the seat and fumbled for the key

Then he heard the engine roar and he whispered, “Now let it be”

We found him in the morning, hands clenched upon the wheel

Eyes fixed on the horizon and his skin gray as steel

He went the way he wanted, with his boots upon his feet

His hands upon the steering wheel, sitting in the driver’s seat

We buried him just today, with his logbook by his side

God when you go to judge him, remember that he loved to drive

 

David R. Madill is an owner-operator and long-haul trucker from Westbank, British Columbia, Canada.

Second

My Sin

By Mike S. Mundy

While driving the Pennyrile Parkway,
I viewed the world only in my way,
that trucks were leviathan hazards
driven by pot-bellied braggarts.

These monstrous behemoths they drive,
more than from nine until five,
safe in their arrogance and power,
it’s us who must cringe and must cower.

An eighteen kept its distance behind,
unblinking and grim, so unkind,
a locust of the apocalypse
with cicadian antennae and lips.

Then, son Thanne sees a turtle ahead,
that surely soon would be dead,
crushed by this frigate of steel,
soulless, unable to feel.

Suddenly we see a swerve,
as a racer would taking a curve.
The turtle was saved at death’s door
and I was changed – forevermore.

Behind that wheel sat a human being
who opened my eyes to seeing
just how wrong a man can be,
by saving the turtle, then saving me.

 

Mike S. Mundy is a truck driver from Plymouth, PA.

Third

Truckdrivers

By Rex Norton

Like sea captains of old, the truckdriver navigates
his ocean, the highway.
He keeps his eye on the horizon, ever vigilant day and night,
watching for foul weather that would delay
his cargo’s timely arrival.

If he is lucky, in some home port a fire burns still,
and perhaps his true love waits, with prayerful heart.
She, too, casts her eye to the horizon as have captains’ wives
for centuries long past.

Waiting for his return from the open ocean of pavement,
she longs for his safe arrival,
home at last from the asphalt seas.

Rex Norton of Gorkin, MO, was an owner-operator for 15 years.

Fourth

Illicit Love

By Kate Kosse

Predawn Dr. Pepper on half-dice ice,
chilled sparkles on my tongue
soon echoed by sparkles
in my mind, as the day’s
first miles roll out from under
my truck’s tires.

Three hundred miles done, and I stand
waiting to pay for fuel, mere feet
from the object of my longing:
Tornadoes, slender golden cylinders
of flaky pastry, slowly rotating
on warm steel rollers.
Though I know my torso
will treat the wheat as poison,
still, they sing their siren song to me.

Six hundred miles done,
a hundred more to go this driving day.
Like alcohol before an affair,
bone-deep weariness greases the skids
for this particular seduction:
pepperoni personal pan pizza.
My tongue, that temptress,
worships the unholy trinity
of salt, fat, and wheat.

But my heart warns
the wages of this sin
could actually be death.
So I will renew the vows of commitment
between discipline and health,
I will resist the seduction,
I will turn down the temptress ...
tomorrow.

Kate Kosse is an owner-operator
from Surprise, AZ.

Honorable Mention

Letter to a Trucker’s Wife

By David R. Madill

It’s time we had a little talk about the one you call your man
I know how much you love him but I’ll steal him if I can
You know even when he’s with you thoughts of me are in his head
But then I’ve heard him call your name when he is in my bed

He calls me his baby and he holds me oh so tight
He whispers secrets to me as we travel through the night
He buys me lots of little things he loves to see me shine
I take him places that you can’t in my bid to make him mine

Don’t try to use your children, you see they like me too
But even when they are with me I know they are missing you
I realize you love him and I wish you lots of luck
Just remember he is also mine, sincerely signed, The Truck

David R. Madill is an owner-operator and long-haul trucker from Westbank, British Columbia, Canada.

Aug/Sept Digital Edition