Shirley Alexander

(12-05-1953 / Somewhere under heaven, Georgia, USA)

Witness: The Wreck On Hwy.78


The sound of it
makes hot bile boil itself
into my throat.
Crash and slow grind
fades to dead silence.

Through my window
I see a small blue convertible.
It isn't.
It is cut clean
from the top to the doors.
Empty, thank God.
But, it isn't.

The truck driver comes,
crawls, head in hands
into my office.
'I think I killed someone' he says.
'Maybe two'.

I make the call to 911,
offer the driver coffee.
He is on his knees
praying.
Such weeping.

The deputy takes me aside.
Six members of a local family
we all know and love,
out to celebrate a birthday,
cut sharp;
each cleanly in half.

Life is no longer visible
through my avoided window.

How do you tell a praying man
what he has done?



Author's note:
This poem was written
from my memory of an actual event.

Submitted: Friday, April 19, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, October 02, 2013

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