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  • Mary Ellen Swee

Beach Hill Road, 1973-2020

Susan was a connoisseur

of downhill racing.

After the trigger got pulled,

she let loose,

diving down Beach Hill Road.

Wild Susan flew

along tin foil guardrails

lining the steepest grade.

If she surrendered her footing

the barrier would not hold.

She’d roll down the brushy slope,

somersault onto sand,

and slide under the waves.

The surface of Beach Hill

was, technically, paved –

but pockmarks appeared like islands

seeking contact with skin.

Superstar Susan leapt

over the pits, in her white leather

shelltoes with wings.

You can’t keep from tripping forever

taunted the gravelly holes.

But Susan got off

on her Beach Hill jaunt.

She believed the mystique

of a climb from shore to the peak

would never wear down

like knees do and hips

and the soles of her shoes.

Daring Susan specialized

in risk. She blew past

the bottom of Beach Hill Road

in record time, so far ahead

that she missed the sign

on the rusted-out

chain link fence:

Danger Keep Off.

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