Amazing Grace

The heavy thrum of the engines was the soundtrack to the extended weekend. She sat on the balcony soaking up the yellow rays and beading sweat, all the while the throaty rattle of motorcycles rolled by. It was a perennial invasion of black leather, glossy metal that glinted in the sun, and always the roar that vibrated in her gut.

There had been that one summer, standing on the upward slant of the V, the wall’s black marble swallowing up the thick air. Traffic was a faint hum in the distance and a handful of people milled about the kelly green lawn. The pinched tone of a bagpipe cut through the cornflower sky, and the chords lingered against the chalk white names. She lost her breath in the wail of the pipes and watched the pair stand through the song, soldiers in salute.

She had a decade collection of the rumbling sound of the bikes, every balcony adjacent to a main drag. The thunder would roll all weekend, and then, like the tiny black triangles at the end of the wall, taper off until silence echoed on the hazy streets.


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