A Turn-in on the Pacific Coast Highway

by Ken Harnisch

Slamming the brakes on my Toyota
Brought me to the precipice
But no further.

The Lord of Destinies had
Decided I was not ready to be fodder
For the cliffs or the sea lions today

There is no guardrail here.
I can hover at the edge and look down on
Disasters from the 1950’s
There are hulks there bronzed with age
That rust in the swirling froth and rot
In the summer sun

You imagine the occupants were removed,
Although, looking out on the foaming surf
You wonder how they got a boat in there
To perform the extraction.

Or was it some movie shoot?
Did the auto pilot take the car over the edge
And hurtle it into oblivion sans human beings?
And was the same shot used over and over
In every chase scene you ever watched
Since "Mannix?"

It is nice to think so
Just as it is nice to think
No disaster
Is ever so final it can
Squelch the human spirit

But then again, having been in love,
I’d say the chances of that are slim.


Posted on 04/26/2010
Copyright © 2024 Ken Harnisch

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by George Hoerner on 04/26/10 at 05:48 PM

A great write Ken. I don't think love ever really dies. But I've been through a few of those crash and burn endings thinking I would not survive. After a few months or years you realize you have survived although you know you'll never be the same and that you are still going to die.

Posted by Joan Serratelli on 04/26/10 at 08:31 PM

Love doesn't die- if you're lucky; it turns into indifference. Wonderful write (from one fatalist to another)

Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 04/27/10 at 02:06 PM

Flawless storytelling and one hell of a sharp ending.

Posted by Ann Krischus on 02/24/11 at 02:24 PM

Such a profound piece that motivates me to live from a deeper place today. Thank you!

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