On the way home from school
I drove past
a very recent car accident.
Pieces of bumper
in the intersection.
A bicycle lay on its side
but the cyclist seemed
in better condition than
the driver of the
Emergency vehicles were not there yet
but lots of people were
I drove slowly past
thinking about how quickly
a life can change.
Thinking about driving home
to my college dorm
after a day of student teaching.
my dad named Kermit.
Working on memorizing a poem
as I drove.
at the 4-way stop at the top of the hill.
Stopping before the last line of the poem.
Saying out loud,
"I have wasted my life" *
and looking up to see
the other car
running through the stop
smashing my driver's side door
changing my life
I no longer memorize poetry
while I drive.
by Mary Lee Hahn, copyright 2010
* Dang. I can't find (or remember) the poem I was trying to memorize. Seems like it had the word Minnesota in it, and the speaker was lounging in a hammock. Sound familiar? I'll keep looking...
I FOUND IT!!!
Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota
Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,
Asleep on the black trunk,
blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year's horses
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.