Fraiku: On the Interstate

Teenagers play in traffic
I almost sacrifice one lamb
on the altar of social media


I’m heading to a week-long writing retreat and something odd happened on the way. I was on I-95 in the middle of South Carolina, nice clear highway ahead except for a car which had just pulled over under an overpass. I see two people emerge from the car but they’re well on the shoulder so it’s no big deal.

Then they both run into the travel lanes as though they’re going to cross the highway! I slow to give them plenty of time and curse their stupidity but instead of heading into the median, they start running directly for my car which is still traveling at highway speeds.

Fortunately, the cars behind me are well behind me so I swerve into the left lane but one of the kids, as I can now determine they’re teenage boys, jukes right, as if we were playing American football and he was trying to fake me, a one-ton linebacker.

I get on the shoulder, feel the rumble strip shake, and as I fly past him, maybe an arm’s length away, he’s smiling like it’s a fun game.

In the rear view mirror I see the trailing cars slowing and swerving while the boys prance along the interstate.

My best guess, and this is only a guess, is that they had a comrade on the overpass recording the event to post for likes and shares on whatever social media the kids are frequenting these days.

About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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8 Responses to Fraiku: On the Interstate

  1. ivor20 says:

    Playing hardball on the highway, is very close to a death wish ..
    oh BTW Bart, my Haiku (Witty Butterfly) was accepted at Whispers and Echoes, on 29th Sept … again thank you for kindness

    Liked by 2 people

  2. trE says:

    I don’t . . . I don’t understand these kids nowadays. Well really, I don’t understand many things nowadays. *Sighs* That’s far too much shouting at and taunting death. Far too much.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliant Haiku! And a stupendous story😮
    You are right, they might have had a friend filming it.
    Although to be fair I was a teenager myself long before social media, and we didn’t need an audience other than our own (and sometime) none at all to tempt fate and take stupid risk of one kind of another.
    I remember so clearly the conflicting emotions of that age; hubristic feelings of immortality and infinite possibilities while the world keeps on giving you the cold shoulder as if you’re invisible, unnecessary and replaceable! In this world, women over 50 are invisible and men under thirty are invisible too! Disenchantment with the world and misbehaviour and a logical consequence… 🤷‍♂️ (I know, we don’t see women over 50 throwing themselves into cars on the motorway😅)
    I’m glad you are well and that nobody got hurt. It must have been quite a scare!
    Thank you for sharing this!🙏

    Liked by 2 people

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