Monday, November 29, 2021

Cynthia Steele

NEAL'S TORMENT: THE VILLANELLE OF THE PONTIAC

Neal Sims couldn't stop thinking about his ‘handsome’ Pontiac
That two-door, hardtop, four-barrel V8—so fast
‘Excessive speed’ a double vehicular homicide act.

10-21, 8:25 PM South of Deer Lodge, Montana, the facts
A Monday, 1968, US Highway 10, the brutal impact
Neal Sims couldn't stop thinking about his ‘handsome’ Pontiac

Duane Young and Gary Janes happened on the two-car crash
Called for prosecution of the young man, so brash
‘Excessive speed’ in a double vehicular homicide act.

Wife tried to have him committed; did she overreact?
After the rage, driver’s side, crumpled, twisted metal wrapped
Neal Sims couldn't stop thinking about his ‘handsome’ Pontiac

His jaw wired shut, he lay there, leg in a cast
His beloved Pontiac, an obliterated multi-edged mess
‘Excessive speed’ in a double vehicular homicide act.

Photos yellowing, as Bessie pulls glue-sealed plastic back
This man whose muddled mind stayed stuck in the past
Neal Sims couldn't stop thinking about his ‘handsome’ Pontiac
‘Excessive speed’ in a double vehicular homicide act.


Cynthia reads "Neal's Torment...":



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Cynthia confesses: "News about the double vehicular homicide my Dad committed appeared in four states. Because he had a young family, they sent him to Alaska to start over. Short jail stint. Everyone remembers he loved that Pontiac. No one remembers the deceased couple. From his perspective, this for them."


CYNTHIA STEELE serves as Associate Editor for Cirque and as a dog whisperer for Rover. She has an MA in English and a BA Journalism. Her new work appears in Cirque Journal; Pensive: A Global Journal of Spirituality & the Arts; The Blue Mountain Review: A Journal of Culture; and in the forthcoming Anthology on Domestic Abuse “When Home is Not Safe.” Her recent NF story “Waffle Stompers, Jesus Freaks, and Dignity” is in Virtual Zine, a literary magazine out of the UK.

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