Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tony Peyser

Bermuda. Summer. 1968. Fifteen Years Old.

On this far-flung family vacation, my parents & I were
informed by hotel staff that the best way to get around

was on motorbikes, something that I had never driven.
However, my Mom and Dad relinquished their normally

overprotective ways, soon departed on their new modes
of transportation and left me on my own. I proceeded to

drive my motorbike directly into the nearest wall. I was
knocked down & dazed but unhurt. Now fully aware that

the throttle could throttle me. I was far more cautious on
my next attempt. Before I knew it, I was out & about on a

busy Bermuda thoroughfare. At a stop sign, the road forked
& I pondered which way to go. I began to see myself not as

myself but as Steve McQueen fleeing on a motorcycle after
cleverly slipping away from his World War II POW camp

captors in a beloved 1963 Hollywood blockbuster. Right at
this climactic moment, composer Elmer Bernstein’s rousing

score utilized pulsing strings and staccato horns as McQueen
on his modified TT Special 650 Triumph looked left, turned

right and hunched down for one last heroic flight for freedom.
I was so caught up in this daydream that if I had seen wooden

fences wrapped in barbed wire, I would have zoomed off and
tried to jump over them. But no such fences were in sight, so I

headed east and raced off at daring speeds that often neared 23
miles an hour. At no moment in my life (before or since) have

I ever felt such absolute liberation. I accelerated, leaned into the
next curve and continued on my great, but brief, escape.


  1. Very good specific details in your prose poem!

  2. from Mary Torregrossa: I like the opening of Bermuda Summer and the invitation for a wild ride that is summer. It gets a little bogged down in the middle. A very charming story!

  3. from Michelle Angelini: Another one of my favorites, since I went to Bermuda many, many years ago and remember the motorbikes. The transition into the dreamscape from reality make the poem all the more enthralling.