Sledding Downhill by Blair Kilpatrick

Sledding Downhill

encircled by his arm
my diaphragm
feels the weight
of comfort
and demand
to slow my breathing
and settle back
into a shared sleep
that will not come
on this restless night
turned to morning

I am breathless
I am riding
the vintage roller coaster
that frightened me
as a child
built like a bobsled
boy behind girl
holding her close
according to my mother
the one time a nice girl
could freely settle
between his legs
in the dark

They called it
the Flying Turns
lacking a track
it promised a spinning
free-wheeling descent
through a hollow
wooden chute

My racing heart
chases my breath
in my empty chest
I am spinning
I am sliding
too fast
too fast


Blair Kilpatrick is a psychologist and musician. She is the author of Accordion Dreams: A Journey into Cajun and Creole Music (U. Press Mississippi). She received the first annual SUA literary award for her creative nonfiction. Her poetry has appeared in Amethyst Review and littledeathlit. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband. Her website is

One thought on “Sledding Downhill by Blair Kilpatrick

  1. A wonderfully descriptive poem. The tension, stress and momentum rushed through me.

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