"But first, baby, as you climb and count the stairs (and they total the same), did you, sometime or somewhere, have a different idea?
Is this, baby, what you were born to feel, and do, and be?"

-Kenneth Fearing

Monday, May 14, 2012

Accidental Collision


Even a little is too much, if it’s blood,
if it covers your son, in the front seat
of the truck, driven too fast, accidentally,
into the side of a bus. Now, in your lap,

he doesn’t move and you can’t bring
yourself to prod him, although every stinging
nerve wants you to try. What if he doesn’t?
You’re paralyzed by what you can’t think.

Mother was what you grasped, but now…
Your thoughts spill out over each other, bills,
Southern Comfort, his death, they still whisper.
They blame you because you’re the one left.

The boy moves. He laughs, and you can’t breathe.
You hadn’t even pleaded yet. Later, you’ll know
that a lip can bleed a lot, from even a small
piece torn out. This will be a close call story;

a reprieve, with laughter disguised significance, the one
you recall when someone cries about hitting bottom.
You’ll remember that you lost him in that moment
and have never been convinced you got him back.

-Brent Allard