road toll

numbers
piling
ever high,
every day
the road
tolls, the
bells are
ringing for
the dead,
the people
cry and
shake their
jaded heads.
They speed
their only
lives away,
driving under
the influence
of fresh
faced peers,
straight out
of driving
school and
high school,
testosterone
anger –
the perfect
fuel for
fast cars,
wearing their
super hero
teflon suits,
reliving a
video game,
distracted by
laughing
friends
mucking about,
having fun,
overloaded
drunk and
so high,
text messages
and always
ringing mobiles,
stolen cars
and freedom
to live
and freedom
to die.

16 thoughts on “road toll

    1. Thanks slpmartin. We’re certainly failing somewhere along the line – but the young adults also have to accept their responsibility (anyone who gets behind the wheel of a car must accept their responsibility) as well – I think it is unfortunate that the age of getting a drivers license happens roughly at the same time as being legally able to drink (18 in Australia). It is a very complex issue, especially in Australia where we also have very long distances to travel in regional areas and really bad roads (especially in Qld after the floods this year).

  1. “freedom
    to live
    and freedom
    to die”
    Oh yes, and while we are talking limits, the car culture is our equivalet of the gun culture elsewhere, also a freedom that kills.

  2. Very powerful poem – “driving under the influence of fresh faced peers” – “high school,
    testosterone anger – the perfect fuel for fast cars” – what truths those words speak

  3. This is really wonderfully written – I love how well you used the driving motif throughout, and the way your line breaks emphasized their dualities (i.e. in the case of “driving under the influence of…peers”). The title is great as well.

  4. When I was in hospital I was in the plastic surgery ward (no, I didn’t have a boob job….haha) and there was a girl there who was only 19 and had gone straight through a windscreen. Her face was a mess. It was heartbreaking to see. She lost an eye and part of her jaw. I don’t know how she will cope in the future. Her boyfriend had been driving (drunk) and had not a scratch on him. This brilliant poem really hit home for me…..

    1. That’s absolutely horrific Selma – that poor girl (and also very stressful for you being in the same ward) – yeah, as well as the deaths there are even more non-fatal accidents that wreck people’s lives for a very long time – paraplegics etc.,

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