Buddies for Life

by Greg McBride

Buddies for Life
     summer 1961

Squealing rubber slick out of McDonald’s,
our gang of four sixteens, two cars, tears north
east on 413 toward Langhorne, PA,
two yellow lines from south to Bristol Bridge.
I’m propped on a pillow in full command
of my father’s red Fury, fins flaming
the Saturday night. Behind, big buddy
Eddie sprawls across the suicide seat
of a Galaxie, Bob manning the wheel.
We’re ProKeds and gasoline, windbillowed
collars, singlefile on a twolane road
to Philly pizza, pool hall, girls, who knows?
We do the dosido, the passlanepass,
we swim the road’s smooth ebb and flow, we whoop
and holler. Let’s Twist Again clamors from
AM radio. Under stars that flare
through the night sky’s scrim, our ketchupstained jeans
jounce Chubby Checker’s beat. Crewcuts cruising,
tailpipes blurting, the Galaxie’s abreast
my Fury, noses ahead, and again,
again, Bob almost evades the ravine.