Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 13
Fall 2015

[Two Poems]

by M. Scott Douglass


Son, sometimes you’ve got more balls than brains.
—William H. Douglass, Jr.

I’ve always wanted highway pegs
on my Harley Davidson; the flat chrome-
plated ones that fold up when not in use,
lined with black rubber runners
to keep my feet from slipping off.

I haven’t bought them because I know
they aren’t practical for the places
I usually ride: stoplight-obsessed city streets
and winding country roads.
But it doesn’t make me want them any less.

It’s an image thing.

I see myself ripping down the road,
highway pegs angled so the wind blows
up my pant legs. I’m cool all under and don’t care
if my riding position resembles a woman with
her feet in the stirrups, preparing to give birth

because that’s not the message I want to convey
to those I pass. I want them to remember me as
a man who wasn’t afraid to ride the fast lane,
wasn’t afraid to rush out into the world
and greet it balls first.



Highway Man

He wants to be a road warrior,
not a post-apocalyptic Mad Max
mercenary type, but certainly
someone who drives angry, drives
with a vengeance, drives determined
to arrive at a destination on time.
He longs for a road he can claim
for his own, free from the scourge
of soccer mom mini-vans
drifting in and out of lanes
between cell phone calls, free
from overcautious octogenarians
in 30-year-old Buicks, free
from truckers holding hands
as they skip up hills hauling
oversized loads; free from sport
bikes and entitlement Cadillacs
that slash across multiple lanes
like rash hummingbirds,
disrupting the bubble of space
he clears for himself against
the undertow of traffic.
It’s all very simple to him:
    Drive it or park it, but stay
    the hell out of my way.
There is Point A and Point B
and no point obstructing
the distance between, no point
debating right-of-way, or speed.
Just keep moving. Keep to yourself.
All he wants is a free lane, wheels
to carry him, fuel to burn, and time—
don’t trespass on his time—
the only exhaustible ingredient
on the road to anywhere.


SHJ Issue 13
Fall 2015

M. Scott Douglass

is publisher, editor, and chief bottle-washer at Main Street Rag Publishing Company. He’s been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and earned a grant from the Arts & Science Council of North Carolina. A graphic designer by trade, he spent twenty years as a dental technician, did construction and demolition, taught community college, was a Zum Zum man at Three Rivers Stadium (youth), and bred rats for the University of Pittsburgh during college. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury