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Monday, July 2, 2012

ED WOODS

Time Tattooed in Memory

humming power guiding the long hood
smooth between highway lines into darkness
interrupted by the occasional set of headlights
coming to glare bright until passed
into darkness and broken lines                               
the night is beautiful in weather and celestial display
car lights after car lights approach in a steady flow
then depart in passive redness
reflected in blackened mirrors
the next set of lights looks lonely                             
approaching faster than the others
as if in a hurry to reach a destination or destiny
it won’t take long for these lights to pass
so close and fast in a time
about to be tattooed in my mind

abruptly this car crosses into my lane                     
suddenly time is hollow as this vehicle
disappears into the slant vision vacuum
just ahead of the hood of my truck
I lift out of my seat anticipating a full collision
activating all braking methods including
the deathbed Red Button Terminal System

impact is heavy
engines die
rubber screeches life and motion to a stop
sounds and smell of emergency break the night
into a path of speckled glass and debris
leading to a wreck on the ditch embankment
paralyzed, staring in stunned disbelief                   
I step down shakily to begin a jittered tip-toed walk
towards no sign of life
among ominous automotive litter
of a shockingly unrecognizable car

a stilled mannequin figure in fixated stare
hands locked onto the steering wheel
still alive, thank God she is still alive
safely I remove this youth from potential disaster by fire
amid a swirling fog of fluids unable to survive such a collision
shocked only, thank you God, she is shocked only

the stress of youthful priorities
overpowered by a parental demand
to get right home to study for school
instead of socializing with friends

enroute streaming tears and ranting
gave in to losing the will to live
I’ll show you, all of you
you will be sorry now Mom
for I am going no farther than the front end
of this oncoming truck


Editor`s Note:  This is actually a true story.  It was originally published by Tower Poetry Society in an anthology.

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