‘ROAD WARRIORS’ and 2 more by Mather Schneider


At age 16
every time Eric Glasford and I
got in the car
with John Kendall at the wheel we knew
we might die.

John had that old beat up
Honda hatchback.
When we went to town John took
the back way home,
and when he made
that left at Galsworth Gulch, we all moaned
and prayed.

John would laugh
and gun it, wait
for the drop into the gully
and the narrow one-

lane bridge at the bottom, and if there was
a car coming from the other direction,
the fun doubled, his fun, our
terror, as we wailed and
squealed like baby pigs and John
always won his games
of chicken,
the other car always
backed down,
we always bottomed out at that rise in the
bridge, and sometimes we

would catch air
at the top and the sparks
flew in the darkness,
all of us
the best of friends, calling John
every name in the book.

After a couple years that Honda
developed an internal exhaust leak
and whoever sat in the back had
to keep their head out the window, except for
Eric, who liked the smell
and claimed he got a good
buzz from it.

Sadly, we all grew up
but I know I’m not the only one
who remembers old days with fondness.

Eric and I are still here
though we don’t talk
or see each other anymore.
They widened the road
through Galsworth Gulch
and put in a fancy new bridge
over the oily water.

John became the manager
of the Denny’s in Peoria
for a while,
and then I heard he moved
to Florida
for some stupid fucking reason.


Theresa gets tired of me trying to kiss her
so she throws my bicycle
into her El Camino and drops
my fifteen year old
drunk-on-rhubarb-wine ass
on the lip of a gully out
by New Fayetteville,
five miles from my mom’s,
middle of nowhere,
and pushes me away.
I fly down the gully’s green throat
my hair straight back
like a high dive into the future
distorted and dizzy
and faster than summer
comes the one lane bridge
with the silver flash
of creek beneath it,
a red river springing
like a roar from my mouth
into its mirror image,
the giant seemingly endless
climb in front of me,
and one small quick fish
swimming in circles.


Old Dirk loved his big cushion chair.
It was his only piece of furniture.
He was fifty eight and didn’t have a single
gray hair on his head
or in his foot long
pointed beard.
He stroked that beard while he sat in his chair.
For years he’d been homeless
and perfectly healthy
but he finally lucked into a government apartment
and a nice comfortable chair
and life was good.
In the morning he would sit in the chair
and do his exercises:
lifting a big rock above his head
fifty times.
At night he would drink or smoke
and just lay back in his chair and think.
He had no tv so he just looked at the
wall or the ceiling or
out the window.
they started smelling the inevitable
one day.
They broke into Dirk’s apartment
and there he was
laying in his chair,
He was only about five feet tall and didn’t
have any family and so was
easy to lift and
take away.

The chair they just sat
out by the curb,
where he had found it.


Mather Schneider was born in 1970 in Peoria, Illinois and now divides his time between Tucson, Arizona and Mexico. He has 5 books available on Amazon.

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