by Joan McNerney

If only it had not rained
the sky black and wet as
we hurried across streets.

Perhaps had he worn a
light coat it would have
been easier to spot.

Maybe if the cab driver
were not so tired, if
headlights shone brighter.

How many hundreds of things
lead him to that corner.
For instance staying late
to check computer printouts.

The cab driver had felt like
going home at six but had
a recent rent increase.

Everything lead to the cab
slipping along 3rd Avenue.
Him in front of his office
and then lunging out to
avoid a puddle.

There was no one to blame
nothing to blame really
not the rain
or the dark coat
not the dim lights
nor the cab driver
who would remember this always
and sometimes blame himself.

It was part of a series
of events of time and place
leading to this conclusion.

An ambulance screamed
down the avenue. His eyes
wide open as he lay
facing the black night.

His time finished
eyes opened as if
staring at something
quite different now.

1 thought on “Accident

  1. I appreciate the straight-forward poems from time to time. It’s a sad tale of death, here, which is in our nature to make sense out of. We need to make sense of death. Why? Because it seems so unnatural and unfair. We lean to our own understandings which often point to a random meaninglessness where we might imagine ourselves in Hell. But death is natural, or at least a conclusion to life. It’s here to stay. I love how the poem ends: “His time finished/ eyes opened as if/ staring at something/ quite different now.” It’s a gut-punch, but it’s truth.

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