Skid Marks

skid marks

The basement of my childhood home comprised the entire footprint of the house—thirty by sixty feet. In the corner just left of the staircase as you descended was the hollowed-out remains of an old riding lawnmower. My older brother had painted it green—a racing green I guessed. On a day when he was not jamming with his friends in his psychedelic band, I was able to compete for his attention and win. We took turns pushing each other in the makeshift go cart in a long oval the full length and breadth of the basement. The smooth cement floor marred with numerous long, black skid marks was a testament to the times my brother and I could actually forget the six-year difference between us and just let our mutual exuberance fill the cavernous bottom area of the house.

Now, as a middle-aged man, I can see the time together in all its dimension, like I could reach out, grab one of the long black skid marks, tear it from the burnished grey floor, and eat it like a strip of licorice as I watch my brother push me so fast that I nearly lose control, tipping the go cart up several inches so that only two knobby tires touch the floor. Best of all in those years was our hard laughter and for me to see him smile in a way that assured me that he and I were one, regardless of the many times he had told me to go away and leave him and his friends to their own laughter, which I could only hear from a distance while thinking how nice it would be when we would once again look at each other and grin before we headed downstairs, imitating sounds of racing cars.

About Til Turner

Til is a writer, artist, and musician living in the Shenandoah Valley. He is an associate professor in the Language Arts and Social Sciences division at Northern Virginia Community College and is a graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Art with an MFA in Creative Writing. Til has published poetry online and is currently trying to publish a middle-grade fantasy/adventure novel. Please feel free to visit his instructional website at
This entry was posted in Prose and Poetry, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Skid Marks

  1. Donna Poe says:

    How wonderful! All truth here.


  2. Pingback: Skid Marks – Sound of Silence

  3. Reblogged this on Sound of Silence and commented:
    The dark rubber burns on the pavement,
    The splatter of glass on the road,
    Are indications that someone
    Had on too much of a load.

    The screech of the tires in the moonlight,
    A split second etched on the brain,
    A nightmare flash to be relived
    Over and over again.


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