What went through my mind

Before the impact-
She’ll stop she’s going to stop
She sees me oh no is she on her phone
Her car is lower than mine
Faster too
Too fast
Press the gas and you may avoid the
You will not this is unavoidable inevitable
Just wait for how hard
Take a breath now this is happening
It may not be bad
No children in the car
Maybe the back tire
But what if
Neck issues already
Can’t afford damage
Just breathe and brace yourself
This is on her why doesn’t she stop
Doesn’t see me at all
Was a lovely woman in the shop
I don’t want this for her
Or for me
Just breathe here before the
Crash

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In Hospital

There is something reassuring

about the nurse’s yawn at 1 AM

her slow pace

indifferent demeanor

she has seen this before

all problems solved clinically

your eyes may sting from the recent sight

of blood, torn tissue, unnatural angles

red puddles and clots on the ground

muscle spasms and surging waves of pain

skin pale, eyes rolling back to faint

then an empty bed

machines whirring

distant beeps that go ignored

but for her

this is another shift in September

your pain is just passing through

So Much Depends (poems inspired by)

The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams

so much depends upon

a red wheel barrow

glazed with rain water

beside the white chickens.

_______________________________

so much depends upon

a pouring rain

muddying the lawn

in late summer.

_______________________________

so much depends upon

a ripe apple

pink and plump

picked from nearby orchards.

_______________________________

so much depends upon

a waking cat

stretching hind legs

beside the morning window.

The First Day of School (small moment)

While we wait there, looking around and wondering about procedures, the morning turns from sweetly sunny and warm – could that be a hint of Fall? – to hot sun, the blacktop absorbing heat.  Parents in slacks and jeans sweat as they wait in clumps around the perimeter.

The first day of school, 2018.

My community: people in all shades of black and brown and cream and white. Children with braids and curls and gelled spikes.  Babies in sandals and strollers.  Grandmas holding young hands nervously balled into fists.  Parents giving last kisses and squeezes, assurances in different languages, waving as they walk away.

The teachers look comfortable in jeans, casual shoes, and t-shirts labeled with their grade level or position.  They look calm.  They have done this all before.  They weave through crowds of parents and children until they claim the spot for their class’s line.

And there is my golden-haired daughter in line.  Her headband is askew and her socks are uneven, but she is a model Kindergartener.  Waiting for instructions, holding tight to her lunchbox and water.  She stands behind a boy with a Ninja Turtles backpack (hers is the school-gifted, purple, off-brand one – she loves it.)  She is nervous.  She glances at her father and me constantly while the principal gives the welcoming remarks.  I catch her eye and she waves – quickly, anxiously, with relief.  We repeat this a few times.  I don’t want to look away, either.

It’s time to go in, and her teacher curves the student line toward the entrance.  My daughter waves again, smiles, looks worried.  “Have fun!” we say.  “Bye-bye!”  I remember the feel of her small hand in mine during our walk from the car to the school grounds.  I didn’t want to let go when we found her classmates.  But it was time.  It’s time for her to start Kindergarten.

The first day of school, 2018.