A Look Over Your Shoulder

arizona road mapI don’t know if this still happens very much anymore, since the CB isn’t the most popular communication device among truckers these days, but in the not-so-distant past, it was common to ask other truckers for a road report by asking how it looks over their shoulder. Most drivers understood that meant you were asking for a “bear report” or for any adverse conditions for the next half hour or so. But, occasionally, you’d get a reply from someone who would tell you about every cop he has seen for what seems like the last few days, or several hundred miles! It’s humorous to recall such information overkill, but it was pretty ridiculous at the time. If you’ve driven trucks for more than ten years or so, I’m sure you can recall times when you’ve heard some chicken hauler rattling off the location of every cop in the western hemisphere. This poem is just a funny reflection on the days when the CB was used to share “important” information between drivers. Today, on the CB, it seems like everyone is using foreign languages, or not speaking at all. I hope you get a laugh out of this poem, and it takes you back… this is how it used to look, over your shoulder.

THE BEAR REPORT
By Trevor Hardwick

AugPoemPic2Headin’ out of California, rollin’ 40 east,
I hit the Arizona line, relieved, to say the least.
All I did was key the mic, and ask one simple thing,
“How’s it look behind you?” Now my ears still ring.

“Eastbound, Topock coops are open, rollin’ you across,
Then it’s hammer down, to make up all the time you lost.
Here to Kingman’s lookin’ good, except for Exit 9,
Sittin’ on the get-on ramp, beside the Pilot sign.

You had a full grown polar bear, about the twenty-six,
And Evel Knievel hammer down, at the thirty-two yard stick.
Watch yourself at Ash Fork, around the one-four-five.
Smokey caught a big truck, and he’s sittin’ on your side.

You’ll wanna hit the Monfort Lane, just before the one-six-one,
For a bunch of prison inmates, pickin’ trash up in the sun.
That’s all I’ve seen since I got on, at the Bellemont pickle-park,
Other than the one in Williams, sittin’ in the dark.

Yesterday a mama bear, was busy as could be,
She had a couple captured, this side of two-three-three.
Hammer down through Winslow, not a single bear in sight,
‘Course I was a little tired, and it was pretty late at night.

Holbrook had a county mounty, cruisin’ ‘round out there,
And I heard a little rumor, about a bear up in the air.
East of there, just let her roll, as fast as she will go,
Until you hit the three-two-five, this side of Navajo.

That’s all I’ve seen to bother you, from here to that state line,
Other than the full-grown bear, behind the welcome sign.”
All I really wanted, was to know the road ahead,
But got the whereabouts, of every single cop instead!

About Trevor Hardwick

Trevor Hardwick is a 3rd generation truck driver who has been in love with all things truck-related since he was “delivered” (pun intended). When he was a kid, Trevor began using artwork and poetry as a means of staying connected to trucking, and still loves doing it today. Trevor lives in Stanwood, Washington with his wife Alicia, and has been a regular contributor to 10-4 Magazine since January of 2008. Alicia puts up with Trevor’s love affair with trucks and also shares his outspoken devotion to their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.