Queen of the Road

by Alice Folkart
Blueline Poetry
Highly Commended, April 2010
Judged by Fiona Sampson


Lady long-haul trucker,
mistress of power and speed,
regal queen of the miles.
smiles of the double yellow line,
the long, scary tunnel
that curves right in the middle.

Can’t play the fiddle, but I’m a long-haul trucker
carrying the weight of the world
on my back, car parts, pig parts,
big carts for supermarts,
whatever they weigh, I start my day
with a cup of joe, and I know

that the miles will roll
with me or without me
but I’d better go and see
the world – I love the gears
eighteen right here, near my hand
and up the road there is a band

I want to hear. Nearly every stop
there is a cop or some guy
with a beady eye says, “Hey, babe,
you too cute and small to haul
that big old truck!” and his eyes cluck
shut cause of the rhyme of that word.

But I heard him, what he thought,
my mama taught me to translate
what’s in men’s heads, and not to date,
late or early any guy whose name is Curley,
but to get out on the road
where it’s safe, just deliver my load.


Highly commended because it’s a great folk poem – could be the lyrics of a C&W song – and for the line “and his eyes cluck / shut cause of the rhyme of that word” truck. --Fiona Sampson

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