Two days ago I drove past a young man
writhing on the sidewalk while three men
lifted his motorcycle out of a puddle
of oil by the curb.
I was going somewhere and decided
I didn't have time to stop.
No doubt he'd felt the same way
until the crumpled rear end of that car
persuaded him otherwise--
though he may still be in a big hurry,
answering petulantly his pain's questions
so that pain must ask them over and over,
haggling, wringing from him each detail--
I, too, have found since then
more time than I thought I had
for answering questions--not posed
by any pain of mine,
but by the tiny gap torn
in where I thought I was going to
by my maybe passing right by--
in my hurry to get there--
part of it.
Today another accident: The front of his tiny car
nearly cut off by a left-turning truck,
he's slouched in the front seat, bleeding
from his face (nose? mouth?)
onto his once-white shirt, dazed.
I park and bring over a box of Kleenex
to catch blood and to make amends
for driving past the broken motorcyclist.
I feel okay about it now if you do, Lord,
so you can stop damaging people
and machines for me.
by Dean Blehert