An Allison Engine

My nephew will cock his head
at the sound of an Allison engine
the roar of the thunderboats can be heard
across decades in his ears.
Even now he’ll pack his cooler
and sit for hours in the sun
waiting for the roostertails to appear
over the waters of the Columbia.

We were small our first time
he’s standing there wearing a straw hat
pulled down over his eyes
with a love for a boat
named after an American beer.
Over the years his devotion never wavered
although he was away for a time
I’m certain the sound of an Allison engine
kept him going
it spells out something dear to him now
nearer to freedom.

If there is a thread
that runs through our lives
through our deepest held joys
I’m sure i’m not exxagerating to say
that the roar of an Allison engine
versus the whine of a turbine
sets the heart racing quicker
and the feet moving towards the waters edge.

He’s the last of his kind
we’ve all stopped going to the river
like we used to.
He’ll go until the day the races are no more
he’ll tour the pits and get his buttons
he’ll get his media book and his autographs
because it means something
even he might not understand
as nothing more than a way of life

and the sound of an Allison engine
ringing in his ears.

An Allison Engine

bill bell

Everett, United States

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Artwork Comments

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